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stevkrause

The single biggest scapegoat of the Red Wings in the last 20+ years...

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For an otherwise stellar program as far as handling players and the class of the organization overall, there was not a single situation handled worse than the Curtis Joseph fiasco and it still bothers me to this day how it went down...

It still infuriates me how Curtis Joseph was treated here and how raw of a deal he got... he was flat out STELLAR in the playoffs both years (especially in 03-04) and was made a scapegoat for an offense that couldn't score and a coaching staff that couldn't adjust to life without Scotty and a head coach in Dave Lewis that wasn't ready to be an NHL head coach...

Curtis Joseph's Playoff Stats here in Detroit:

Year Team League GP W L OT Min. GA SA GAA PCT SO

2003-04 Detroit NHL 9 4 4 - 518 12 197 1.39 .939 1

2002-03 Detroit NHL 4 0 4 - 289 10 120 2.08 .917 0

Regular Season:

Year Team League GP W L OT Min. GA SA GAA PCT SO

2003-04 Detroit NHL 31 16 10 - 1708 68 744 2.39 .909 2

2002-03 Detroit NHL 61 34 19 - 3566 148 1676 2.49 .912 5

If you watched ANY of the '04 playoffs, the poor guy stood on his head and lost games 1-0 or 2-1 and his offense gave him NO scoring support, only to be basically ousted in the off-season for an injury plagued Dominik Hasek that was not in physical condition at the time to justify the move(who had already retired and was a year removed from hockey, let alone NHL hockey) and never got the shot at the cup that he so badly deserved...

Edited by stevkrause

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CuJo still says to this day the biggest mistake he ever made in his career was signing with Detroit. I don't think he has forgiven just yet.

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I always felt bad for the way things turned out. Losing in 2003 was not Joseph's fault...J.S. Giguere's superhuman performance was. He looked great in the Winged Wheel and I've always thought he's had one of the best masks in Red Wings history.

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CuJo still says to this day the biggest mistake he ever made in his career was signing with Detroit. I don't think he has forgiven just yet.

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CuJo still says to this day the biggest mistake he ever made in his career was signing with Detroit. I don't think he has forgiven just yet.

As he shouldn't - he was a consummate professional here and was a whipping boy for a team that was looking for an identity after the loss of the most iconic coach in NHL history and coming off of a Stanley Cup, with a Stanley Cup hangover... he basically walked into the perfect storm....

Unfortunately, the front office gave the team to the wrong coach... I still think to this day that Barry Smith would have done a 1000x better job in that role, as he simply commanded more respect than Dave Lewis did...

in the end... CuJo suffered for a situation he had nothing to do with...

I always felt bad for the way things turned out. Losing in 2003 was not Joseph's fault...J.S. Giguere's superhuman performance was. He looked great in the Winged Wheel and I've always thought he's had one of the best masks in Red Wings history.

Agreed, the CuJo mask looked amazing in red... I gotta say though, I really love Jimmy's mask and the spin they put on it with the odometer and the retired numbers...

Mr.Macphisto likes this

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Geez, I dunno.....Find some stuff around the time he signed back with Toronto a couple years ago. He made some quotes then about leaving in 2002...and he probably did again when he announced his retirement.

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CuJo wasn't the biggest scapegoat in the last 20+ years. He's just the one who's been forgiven.

Now Fedorov and Legace, on the other hand...

Legace yes, but why Sergei?

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CuJo wasn't the biggest scapegoat in the last 20+ years. He's just the one who's been forgiven.

Now Fedorov and Legace, on the other hand...

Legace collapsed under the pressure of being a #1 goalie and Fedorov spit in the organization's face for a paycheck and an ego problem - both of these are HORRIBLE examples...

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For an otherwise stellar program as far as handling players and the class of the organization overall, there was not a single situation handled worse than the Curtis Joseph fiasco and it still bothers me to this day how it went down...

It still infuriates me how Curtis Joseph was treated here and how raw of a deal he got... he was flat out STELLAR in the playoffs both years (especially in 03-04) and was made a scapegoat for an offense that couldn't score and a coaching staff that couldn't adjust to life without Scotty and a head coach in Dave Lewis that wasn't ready to be an NHL head coach...

Curtis Joseph's Playoff Stats here in Detroit:

Year Team League GP W L OT Min. GA SA GAA PCT SO

2003-04 Detroit NHL 9 4 4 - 518 12 197 1.39 .939 1

2002-03 Detroit NHL 4 0 4 - 289 10 120 2.08 .917 0

Regular Season:

Year Team League GP W L OT Min. GA SA GAA PCT SO

2003-04 Detroit NHL 31 16 10 - 1708 68 744 2.39 .909 2

2002-03 Detroit NHL 61 34 19 - 3566 148 1676 2.49 .912 5

If you watched ANY of the '04 playoffs, the poor guy stood on his head and lost games 1-0 or 2-1 and his offense gave him NO scoring support, only to be basically ousted in the off-season for an injury plagued Dominik Hasek that was not in physical condition at the time to justify the move(who had already retired and was a year removed from hockey, let alone NHL hockey) and never got the shot at the cup that he so badly deserved...

Though I do agree with alot of your post saying Cujo was "stellar" isn't exactly the most accurate statement I've ever heard. I think he had an ok playoff both years but giving up bad goals at bad times of the game was part of the problem with the Wings that season. You would have a 1-1 game and he gives up a 5 hole goal with no screen and they end up losing 2-1. Again not all his fault but he didn't steal any games either. Along with the other things you mentioned (no key goals/bad coaching etc.)

Cujo's heart was never with the Wings and you could see that day one when he had his going away presser for the Leafs. He was bawling like a little girl. That's what happens when you sign for the money and not stay where your heart is. Wings should have told him to go scratch right after that press conference.

Wings had a mess on their hands from day one but I'm not going to call Cujo a scapegoat. He was part of the problem not part of the solution!

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Cujo's heart was never with the Wings and you could see that day one when he had his going away presser for the Leafs. He was bawling like a little girl. That's what happens when you sign for the money and not stay where your heart is. Wings should have told him to go scratch right after that press conference.

The Leafs offered him more money ($9 million or so) but he made a "hockey" decision.

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It's too bad it didnt work out, because CuJo was always one of my favorite players. But he was never the reason we lost in the playoffs, to post a .917 sv% when your team gets swept is incredible. He doesnt deserve the flack he gets/got, class act that deserved better.

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Cujo was bent over and absolutely rammed by Detroit fans and management.

I can't blame his comments (assuming they are true) and really wish he was treated better here.

Eva: Legace choked in 06. Nothing around that. His short career afterward only reinforces that fact.

F.Michael likes this

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Though I do agree with alot of your post saying Cujo was "stellar" isn't exactly the most accurate statement I've ever heard. I think he had an ok playoff both years but giving up bad goals at bad times of the game was part of the problem with the Wings that season. You would have a 1-1 game and he gives up a 5 hole goal with no screen and they end up losing 2-1. Again not all his fault but he didn't steal any games either. Along with the other things you mentioned (no key goals/bad coaching etc.)

Cujo's heart was never with the Wings and you could see that day one when he had his going away presser for the Leafs. He was bawling like a little girl. That's what happens when you sign for the money and not stay where your heart is. Wings should have told him to go scratch right after that press conference.

Wings had a mess on their hands from day one but I'm not going to call Cujo a scapegoat. He was part of the problem not part of the solution!

He was just good in '03, he WAS stellar in '04 - losing the last 2 games of the series 1-0 is all that needs to be said and he let in MAYBE 2 bad goals in BOTH playoff runs combined, that is no excuse at all... he was never even part of the problem and a goalie can't be part of the solution, when the solution is goal scoring...

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He was just good in '03, he WAS stellar in '04 - losing the last 2 games of the series 1-0 is all that needs to be said and he let in MAYBE 2 bad goals in BOTH playoff runs combined, that is no excuse at all... he was never even part of the problem and a goalie can't be part of the solution, when the solution is goal scoring...

His best playoff game as a Wing was easily the Game 6 loss to Calgary in 2004. He was unreal that game.

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Still one of my top 5 goalies all time, loved when he signed with the wings, no way around it he got shafted by the wings, this made me dislike hasek even more, even if he was the goalie behing the 02 cup and a part of the cup in 08.

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It's hard though - when you think about it, Detroit had to make a terrible choice: stick with Cujo or let Hasek go elsewhere, which at the time would likely have been Colorado as Patty Wah had just retired.

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Curtis Who? I mean obviously a great goalie and I like the guy but he reserves a very small part in my memory in my 20 years as a Wings fan !

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CuJo still says to this day the biggest mistake he ever made in his career was signing with Detroit. I don't think he has forgiven just yet.

Truth be told I could never really understand why he left T.O....It wasn't like the Leafs had a bad team; were close to facing them in the 2002 Cup Finals; how awesome would that have been?!!

Some here laugh at Burke for how he's perceived to have handled the Kaberle situation...Just a few short hours ago I was thinking how poorly Holland handled the whole Cujo/Hasek debacle, and how the Kaberle deal in Toronto is miniscule when you compare the two.

Cujo was bent over and absolutely rammed by Detroit fans and management.

I can't blame his comments (assuming they are true) and really wish he was treated better here.

Eva: Legace choked in 06. Nothing around that. His short career afterward only reinforces that fact.

Gotta give major props to Cujo...The guy handled things very well when one considers what he had gone thru.

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Cool Cujo story. My friend played for York university up in canada and cujo was holding out on or in a contract dispute or whatever, can't remember which, but the York hockey team was offered $400 to clean up after the very first home football game there. The team got together and debated doing it cuz that was a lot of money for beer or whatever else they wanted. Cujo came up to them and said, I'll pay you 400 bucks to not do it cuz you are the hockey team and you don't clean up after anyone.

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I have had the same thoughts about this for ages. Cujo wasn't the issue, lack of scoring was.

For an otherwise stellar program as far as handling players and the class of the organization overall, there was not a single situation handled worse than the Curtis Joseph fiasco and it still bothers me to this day how it went down...

It still infuriates me how Curtis Joseph was treated here and how raw of a deal he got... he was flat out STELLAR in the playoffs both years (especially in 03-04) and was made a scapegoat for an offense that couldn't score and a coaching staff that couldn't adjust to life without Scotty and a head coach in Dave Lewis that wasn't ready to be an NHL head coach...

Curtis Joseph's Playoff Stats here in Detroit:

Year Team League GP W L OT Min. GA SA GAA PCT SO

2003-04 Detroit NHL 9 4 4 - 518 12 197 1.39 .939 1

2002-03 Detroit NHL 4 0 4 - 289 10 120 2.08 .917 0

Regular Season:

Year Team League GP W L OT Min. GA SA GAA PCT SO

2003-04 Detroit NHL 31 16 10 - 1708 68 744 2.39 .909 2

2002-03 Detroit NHL 61 34 19 - 3566 148 1676 2.49 .912 5

If you watched ANY of the '04 playoffs, the poor guy stood on his head and lost games 1-0 or 2-1 and his offense gave him NO scoring support, only to be basically ousted in the off-season for an injury plagued Dominik Hasek that was not in physical condition at the time to justify the move(who had already retired and was a year removed from hockey, let alone NHL hockey) and never got the shot at the cup that he so badly deserved...

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Cujo absolutely got a raw deal. I, like you OP, have always been rather ashamed of the way the organization handled that fiasco - but I blame Hasek for the whole ordeal. Had he stuck around for another season, the Wing's likely would have won back-to-back cups - again.

stevkrause likes this

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What? I never blamed him for anything. You bring a guy in, they play and they win or they don't. I didn't scapegoat him ever. I'm sorry he couldn't win a cup here because he's a decent and good man who gives of himself very graciously. I never blamed him for anything.

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His best playoff game as a Wing was easily the Game 6 loss to Calgary in 2004. He was unreal that game.

My favorite would be Game 4 of that series, which if I remember correctly was on his birthday. He made a tremendous, sliding, cross crease two-pad stack save on Jarome Iginla, and that is one of my most enduring memories of him.

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Legace collapsed under the pressure of being a #1 goalie and Fedorov spit in the organization's face for a paycheck and an ego problem - both of these are HORRIBLE examples...

Legace didn't do well, but Legace was a bigger scapegoat than Cujo was. Fedorov was also a bigger scapegoat than Cujo was ever since the holdout in the mid-90s. Yet without Fedorov, Detroit doesn't win in 97, 98, or 2002.

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I was always a huge Curtis Joseph fan (Starstopper31 is no coincidence) and was really disappointed in the way he was treated here. I will always love the Wings, but the way the fans and management treated him was disgusting.

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