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what if Cujo never left?

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11-03-2012, 04:59 PM
  #1
leeaf83
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what if Cujo never left?

Curtis Joseph stated late in his career his biggest mistake was leaving Toronto. How would things have gone if he didnt?

2003 he had a bad year in Detroit but mind you their undoing was the inability to score in the playoffs.
2004 he had a nice rebound year. Not sure if things go differently at the time, Belfour played similar for the leafs as Joseph.
2005 no hockey but do we still pick Rask? Joseph was two years younger than belfour
2006 may have been different though. Joseph had a great year for the coyotes that year while belfour was awful for us. Whether we have rask or not, I'm compelled to think if the leafs goaltending held up better the previous year and (dare I say it) got us into the playoffs JFJ does not make the panic Raycroft deal
2007 Joseph had a bad year for Phoenix and never starts again. It's possible that JFJ may have pulled the trigger mid season for a goalie. One thing to keep in mind; as it was the leafs backup that year was J-S Aubin and he mainly got that post due to having a solid stretch run after Belfour went down the year before and Tellqvist faltered as the starter. So it's likely if the leafs starter doesn't get hurt the year before and Telly ends up the backup for another year (no idea whether it would have gone better than with Aubin).
Its hard to predict how things would go for Joseph past 2007 had he remained in Toronto. He did have a great playoff game for Calgary in 2008 but clearly didn't play like a starter after 2006. That being said he also sat out half the 2008 season. He accepted a role as a backup with Calgary because that was clearly all he was being offered. But it's anyones guess what decision he would have chose in the summer of 2007 if his options were backup in Toronto or to test the market.
Now 2008 of course ended up being JFJ's last year. This year had Raycroft back up Toskala. But I also wonder if Joseph remains in Toronto from the getgo does JFJ lose his job? The deal which was deemed as his worst at the time was Raycroft for Rask (though a 1st and 2nd for Toskala ended up being disastrous). It's also likely if the leafs make the playoffs in 2006 and/or 2007 (which likely happens with better goaltending), Ferguson is never fired and Peddie and co keep their 1 year ongoing plans to make the playoffs.


I do think Toskala still ends up a leaf unless Joseph plays much better in Toronto than in Phoenix; at the time he was deemed the most capable backup in the west and likely the one JFJ trades for although Bryzgalof could have been as well.

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11-03-2012, 05:03 PM
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My opinion is biased but I loved CuJo during his time in Toronto. He was a big reason the teams in the Sundin era got so far in the playoffs.

Belfour just didn't do the same for me.

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11-03-2012, 05:37 PM
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CUJO did leave just as his skills began to erode. I thought in 01-02' there were signs he had lost a step.

Belfour turned out brilliantly for us for two seasons.

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11-03-2012, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bzer View Post
My opinion is biased but I loved CuJo during his time in Toronto. He was a big reason the teams in the Sundin era got so far in the playoffs.

Belfour just didn't do the same for me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerRoeper View Post
CUJO did leave just as his skills began to erode. I thought in 01-02' there were signs he had lost a step.

Belfour turned out brilliantly for us for two seasons.
To be fair he missed the second half in 2002 with his wrist injury but did lead the team to the semi-finals against Carolina while they had all those injuries.

Belfour I did think even in his 2 good years had more bad games than Cujo did. He played with more emotion but had games where he clearly lost composure. 2003 we lost in 7 to the flyers while heavily injured but belfour stole all 3 leafs wins while Cechmanek was brutal at the other end. 2004 we looked better. I liked Joseph better than Belfour but it's unfair to assume joseph would have done better when Eddie was better those 2 years in toronto than Joseph was in detroit.

Like i said I think those 2 years go similar but I think things go drastically different once the lockout resumed; Joseph would have been healthier and better than Eddie in 2005-06.

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11-03-2012, 05:44 PM
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In 2005 we still pick Rask IMO. You always pick BPA and goalies aren't ready for typically 4-5 years anyways. I mean, Boston has Rask and just selected Subban in a similar spot that we selected Rask in.

I don't think a whole lot changes since we had Belfour. 2006 we'd make it I believe. I don't think we'd go deep as we had a bunch of aging players but we were out by what, 1-2 points despite Belfour playing bad?

But Cujo let his ego get in the way and decided to leave. It was his choice. He was bitter over the Olympics debacle, even though we won gold. Quinn obviously made the right choice but Cujo couldn't see past it and it affected his Leafs tenure.

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11-03-2012, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerRoeper View Post
CUJO did leave just as his skills began to erode. I thought in 01-02' there were signs he had lost a step.

Belfour turned out brilliantly for us for two seasons.
I actually thought he was solid in 2002. Not sure why you thought he lost a step. He was great (especially to the goaltending we get now) in the regular season and was only really bad in the Isles series in the playoffs. He nearly single-handily won us the Carolina ECF series, we couldn't score to save our lives.

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11-03-2012, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bzer View Post
My opinion is biased but I loved CuJo during his time in Toronto. He was a big reason the teams in the Sundin era got so far in the playoffs.

Belfour just didn't do the same for me.
Belfour was better for us than Cujo.

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11-03-2012, 05:55 PM
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I really don't think much changes if Joseph stays for a while longer. Replaced Cujo with Belfour which wasn't exactly a downgrade. Goaltending was not the problem in those years.

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11-03-2012, 06:01 PM
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Now that I think about it, I doubt we deal Rask for Raycroft is he stays. There would have been no point if Cujo was still our starter. That is probably the worst part of him leaving. We also might not make the Toskala trade, due to not making the Rask trade. Kind of a domino's effect. We made the Rask trade because we needed a starter and he wasn't going to be ready for a couple years. We might have still had a starter had he stayed.

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11-03-2012, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mapes View Post
In 2005 we still pick Rask IMO. You always pick BPA and goalies aren't ready for typically 4-5 years anyways. I mean, Boston has Rask and just selected Subban in a similar spot that we selected Rask in.

I don't think a whole lot changes since we had Belfour. 2006 we'd make it I believe. I don't think we'd go deep as we had a bunch of aging players but we were out by what, 1-2 points despite Belfour playing bad?

But Cujo let his ego get in the way and decided to leave. It was his choice. He was bitter over the Olympics debacle, even though we won gold. Quinn obviously made the right choice but Cujo couldn't see past it and it affected his Leafs tenure.
You're probably right about us taking Rask. If we didn't, the next 2 most likely were Matt Lashoff and Jakub Kindl.


But take what you just said a step further; Toronto makes the playoffs in 2006 but presumably does not win the cup. Let's assume a realistic scenario where Joseph isn't the Joseph of old but at least holds his own. His backup is Mikael Tellqvist. Remember heading into that year Telly was considered the goalie of the future. That was his first year as the backup but unfortunately he was thrust into the starters role once Belfour got hurt. I don't think he would have been successful but I think the plan would have been for Joseph to eventually pass the torch to Telly. So when Josephs skills eventually eroded, they would have gone to Tellqvist and THEN gone out and traded for a goalie assuming Tellqvist doesn't succeed.

Also would JFJ had been fired in 2008 if he'd gotten the leafs into the playoffs either of the previous years? Something else I forgot to mention is we'd likely be in better shape capwise; consider the cap hits Toskala, Belfour, and Raycroft got us especially with 2 of the 3 getting bought out.

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11-03-2012, 06:22 PM
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Belfour was SPECTACULAR for us pre-lockout. He was a Vezina nominee I believe in one of those years. Cujo would not have performed better.

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11-03-2012, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by blasted_Sabre View Post
Belfour was SPECTACULAR for us pre-lockout. He was a Vezina nominee I believe in one of those years. Cujo would not have performed better.
Yeah, no way CUJO could be better.

Belfour's rebound at 37 joining the Leafs after a terrible season in Dallas where his lost his starter's job was quite a story.

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11-03-2012, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blasted_Sabre View Post
Belfour was SPECTACULAR for us pre-lockout. He was a Vezina nominee I believe in one of those years. Cujo would not have performed better.
This is true, it's after the lockout where it changes. Do we make either terrible deals for goalies? Do we make it in 2006 and 2007? its really anyone's guess. Those years we missed by 2 points than 1 IIRC.

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11-03-2012, 06:43 PM
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Since the lockout, goaltending has cost us so much. JFJ making two BRUTAL deals for goalies, giving 39 year-old Belfour a contract when there was going to be a lockout, then Burke getting Gerber for no reason whatsoever to **** up our drafting position. It's been a comedy of errors.

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11-03-2012, 06:56 PM
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Belfour was a better goaltender for us. Cujo may have been flashier but he created many of his own messes by knocking pucks back into danger zones instead of snaring them and thus having to make more difficult saves. Belfour simply stopped the puck by cutting angles and he rarely allowed dangerous rebounds. While unflashy Belfour was the best positional goaltender that I have seen play for the Leafs and he produced results. I always felt safe with Belfour in net during his first two seasons with the Leafs...that was never the case with Joseph who often had me at the edge of my seat. Belfour was also a far better stickhandler which was a huge boon when goaltenders were actually allowed to come out of the net and make plays.

While I liked Cujo and was heartbroken when he left, Belfour made the team better. After the lockout, age finally caught up with Belfour but Fergie was a putz and blaming Belfour's decline for the Rask trade makes no sense. Fergie just knew how to fritter away assets for nothing.

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11-03-2012, 07:00 PM
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Cujo betrayed Leafs fans. I didn't really like him to begin with because he forced Potvin out, but I will admit that he played amazingly for us before he left. Cujo was a gamer, but I think he is slightly overrated. I'm sorry, I just can't respect a guy who leaves the Leafs for less money to go to the Wings. Prior to the Leafs moving to the Eastern Conference, the Wings were a major rival, much like the Senators are today, so going to the wings was heartbreaking to hear, even though the leafs had been in the East for years.

I was secretly happy when Perry embarrassed him when Wilson put Cujo in for the shootout after not playing that game. Showcased Cujo's inability and Wilson's terrible coaching.

I can completely understand why people loved Cujo, I just always thought he was a bit overrated

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11-03-2012, 07:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macoun4life View Post
Cujo betrayed Leafs fans. I didn't really like him to begin with because he forced Potvin out, but I will admit that he played amazingly for us before he left. Cujo was a gamer, but I think he is slightly overrated. I'm sorry, I just can't respect a guy who leaves the Leafs for less money to go to the Wings. Prior to the Leafs moving to the Eastern Conference, the Wings were a major rival, much like the Senators are today, so going to the wings was heartbreaking to hear, even though the leafs had been in the East for years.

I was secretly happy when Perry embarrassed him when Wilson put Cujo in for the shootout after not playing that game. Showcased Cujo's inability and Wilson's terrible coaching.

I can completely understand why people loved Cujo, I just always thought he was a bit overrated
Okay but this thread isn't about that or whom the better goalie was from 2002-2004 between he and Belfour, the general consensus is both would have done similar for Toronto.
The discussion is whether things would have gone better once the lockout emerged since Eddie had more in the tank; Eddie had 1 year remaining as a starter (and a poor one at that) and 1 as a backup. Joseph had 2 years as a starter and 2 as a backup and thus could have helped avoid the awful goalie deals.

By the way as for Gerber, Burke got him off re-entry waivers. I guess in hindsight it may have been better to roll with Joseph and Pogge especially to see if Pogge could actually play. But at the time they likely wanted Pogge developing in the AHL rather than getting ruined on a tanking team.

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11-03-2012, 07:11 PM
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The only thing I ever wonder is would Toronto have defeated Philadelphia in the 2003 Eastern Conference Quater-Finals and 2004 Eastern Conference Semi-Finlas with Joseph in net and not Belfour.

Even though Belfour played amazing for Toronto during the 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 seasons, both times he and the Maple Leafs were eliminated from the Playoffs by Philadelphia. However Curtis Joseph was a major reason why Toronto defeated them in the 1999 Eastern Conference Quater-Finals.

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11-03-2012, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macoun4life View Post
Cujo betrayed Leafs fans. I didn't really like him to begin with because he forced Potvin out, but I will admit that he played amazingly for us before he left. Cujo was a gamer, but I think he is slightly overrated. I'm sorry, I just can't respect a guy who leaves the Leafs for less money to go to the Wings. Prior to the Leafs moving to the Eastern Conference, the Wings were a major rival, much like the Senators are today, so going to the wings was heartbreaking to hear, even though the leafs had been in the East for years.

I was secretly happy when Perry embarrassed him when Wilson put Cujo in for the shootout after not playing that game. Showcased Cujo's inability and Wilson's terrible coaching.

I can completely understand why people loved Cujo, I just always thought he was a bit overrated
Overrated?

His time in Toronto he was spectacular though. 4 years with us, 2 time Vezina nominee, 2 times in the ECF

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11-03-2012, 07:46 PM
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Game 6 CuJO?

Loved the guy but he didn't have the "IT" factor.

I wish we could have had Eddie 5 years earlier.

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11-03-2012, 07:59 PM
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Game 6 CuJO?

Loved the guy but he didn't have the "IT" factor.

I wish we could have had Eddie 5 years earlier.
Why? Cujo led us somewhere and runner up for the Vezina twice with us.

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11-03-2012, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Macoun4life View Post
Cujo betrayed Leafs fans. I didn't really like him to begin with because he forced Potvin out, but I will admit that he played amazingly for us before he left. Cujo was a gamer, but I think he is slightly overrated. I'm sorry, I just can't respect a guy who leaves the Leafs for less money to go to the Wings. Prior to the Leafs moving to the Eastern Conference, the Wings were a major rival, much like the Senators are today, so going to the wings was heartbreaking to hear, even though the leafs had been in the East for years.

I was secretly happy when Perry embarrassed him when Wilson put Cujo in for the shootout after not playing that game. Showcased Cujo's inability and Wilson's terrible coaching.

I can completely understand why people loved Cujo, I just always thought he was a bit overrated
And boy, did that ever blow up in his face. He admitted it was a mistake.

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11-03-2012, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
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And boy, did that ever blow up in his face. He admitted it was a mistake.
Hence the first sentence in the topic

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11-03-2012, 10:39 PM
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Comparing Cujo to The Eagle is like trying to figure out which bite of your steak tastes better.

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11-03-2012, 11:20 PM
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Why? Cujo led us somewhere and runner up for the Vezina twice with us.
Ya but he was only good until game 6.

We Game 7's inspite of him.

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