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Curtis Joseph: Too Old to Play in the NHL?

Shane HouseAnalyst INovember 4, 2008

449 career wins. 51 career shutouts. Over 26,000 minutes played.

What does all this mean?

It means that Curtis Joseph will go down as one of the greatest and most successful goalies of all time—both for the Toronto Maple Leafs and the NHL.

But it also means something else. Something that catches up with even the greatest athletes.

Age.

Curtis Joseph will be turning 42 by the end of this season—and as much as I hate to say it, it shows.

This year, Cujo has shown glimpses of the greatness that have made him a fan favourite since coming here in 1998. But for the most part, you can tell he is getting old.

So far this season, he has compiled no wins, two losses and one loss in overtime. His GAA is 3.91 and he has a save percentage of .862, all compiled over four games.

Albeit, that the overtime loss did come from a switch during a shootout against Anaheim, but the numbers are still far from impressive.

There is still a feeling that his game will pick up. There is no way he is bad enough to have those type of numbers throughout the whole season. He is better then that and his numbers will improve.

How much will they improve?

They should get better. There s no way that his 3.91 GAA will stick and his SPCT will improve as well. No respected goalie in the NHL would have a .862 SPCT over the course of a season unless they played for the Islanders.

So we will see his numbers improve. But they wont be great.

I will estimate that he will get around five to eight wins, with about a 2.70 GAA and a SPCT around .900. But he will have a losing record at the end of the season.

The good part about all of this is that no matter what, he will always be loved by Toronto and will always be a fan favourite. There is no way that people in Toronto could hate the man. He is too likable as a player and as a person for anybody to say a bad thing about him.

So no matter what his stats are this season, Cujo will be loved and respected by Leafs Nation and his jersey will be worn proudly by all.

 

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