March 25, 2009

Leaving on a high note...

In five minutes and 57 seconds of stellar relief work off the bench, followed by a perfect performance in the shootout, Curtis Joseph made up for a season's worth of horrendous backup goaltending.

That wasn't the Cujo of 2008/2009 who replaced Martin Gerber between the pipes last night. No sir. That was Cujo, circa 1998/1999. The Cujo who never finished a season in Toronto with a save percentage lower than .906.

Thrust into a tie game with less than a minute to play in regulation, Joseph made a great save on an Alexander Ovechkin one-timer to send the game to overtime. He then made eight saves in the extra session, a number of them of the difficult variety on a Washington power play.

It was something else. The crowd was on its feet in appreciation of Cujo's heroic efforts. It was 1999 all over again.

In the skills competition to decide the game, Joseph shut the door on Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin, and Ovie. Another standing ovation. Two. On a Tuesday night. Unreal.

Speaking of the shootout, it's been a lot more fun to watch this season, hasn't it? Amazing how much more enjoyable it becomes when the Leafs aren't complete and utter failures at it.

And I'm with the General; loved Gerber's passion last night.

In a perfect world, Curtis Joseph announces his retirement from the NHL today. As Jerry Seinfeld and George Costanza taught us, it's all about showmanship. And talk about leaving on a high note.

It's been tough to watch Cujo this season, a shell of the incredible goaltender he once was. But for one more night, he was phenomenal, and I can't think of a better way for him to leave the game behind.

His performance last night; that's how I'll remember Cujo as a Toronto Maple Leaf.

And, most unfortunately...

You will be missed, John Brattain. "Best Regards," indeed...


general borschevsky said...

I have a feeling Joseph will be in net for the final game of the season against Ottawa. He must really be a great presence in the dressing room 'cause when the Leafs came off the bench last night they all looked really happy for Cujo.

Johnny G said...

How could you not feel happy for the guy. You could tell he was grinning ear to ear under that mask.

eyebleaf said...

General: I actually like your idea of Cujo starting that game. It would be a good send off. And you're right, he's definitely well respected by his teammates. You could tell they were crazy stoked for him. It's been a trying season, good on him.

Johnny: Seriously, Cujo was pumped. He surely was feeding off the crowd. They were phenomenal last night.

kushnir said...

was at the game last night. fucking amazing

On The Fence Sports said...

It seems so long ago that Cujo was defending our net as the main guy. Having him in net against the Sens would be great for energy since we won't be playing for a playoff spot.

On The Fence Sports