Curtis Joseph: 4th Best Goalie in Maple Leafs History

TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 12: Curtis Joseph
TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 12: Curtis Joseph /

Curtis Joseph is the fourth best goalie in the history of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

In the last article in this series I talked about who I thought was the fifth greatest goaltender in Toronto Maple Leafs history,  Ed Belfour. Today we will look at who I think is the fourth greatest goalie in Leafs history.

#4 Curtis Joseph

Joseph was never drafted into the NHL. He signed with the St. Louis Blues, as a free agent, in 1989 and made his debut shortly after. Joseph signed with the Leafs as an unrestricted free agent following the 1997-98 NHL season.


Joseph’s first season with the Toronto Maple Leafs was very successful. He had a GAA of 2.56 and a Sv% of 2.56 leading him to place second in the Vezina Trophy voting. With a record of 35-24-7, he lead the Leafs back to the postseason for the first time in three seasons.

During the playoffs, Joseph had a GAA of 2.43 and a Sv% of .907 to help the Leafs make it to the Conference Finals. Playing against the Buffalo Sabres, the Toronto Maple Leafs would go on to lose the series 4-1. The first season of Joseph’s Maple Leafs career was a complete success.


The following season, Joseph was once again very good. With an improved GAA of 2.49 and a Sv% of .915, Leafs fans were not happy when he did not win the Vezina.   With a record of 36-20-7, Cujo was able to help the Leafs hit 100 points and win their division. The Leafs would go on to lose in the Semi-Finals against the New Jersey Devils 4-2. Joseph had a final record of 6-6, a GAA of 2.06 and a Sv% of .932, all very strong numbers.


In Cujo’s third season with the team, he had a GAA of 2.39 and a Sv% of .915, once again improving his stats. His record of 33-27-8 was just enough to help the Leafs make the playoffs. In the playoffs, the Leafs swept the Ottawa Senators 4-0 in the Conference Quarter Finals. In the Conference Semi-Finals, however, they lost 4-3 to the Devils, again. Cujo was still very solid in net though, with a record of 7-4 and a GAA of 2.10 and Sv% of .927.


In his last season with the Leafs, before being traded, Cujo had another good season. While his GAA improved to 2.23, his Sv% dropped to .906, his worst with the team. With a record of 29-17-5, he was, once again, able to bring the Leafs into the postseason. Leading them to another 100 point season and third place in the league. In the playoffs, the Leafs made it back to the Conference Finals before losing 4-2 to the Carolina Hurricanes. Cujo had a 10-10 record with a GAA of 2.30 and a Sv% of .914. Cujo had a great season with the Leafs but was traded shortly after.

The Trade and Homecoming

Joseph was traded on July 1st, 2002 to the Calgary Flames in exchange for a conditional 2004 eighth round pick, that the Leafs never got.  After making the playoffs for four straight seasons, but failing to win the Cup, the Leafs signed Ed Belfour, and Joseph was traded.

After spending five seasons playing in Detroit, Phoenix, and Calgary, Cujo finally returned back to Toronto. On July 1st, 2008, Joseph signed a 1 year contract worth $700,000 to come back to Toronto.

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Joseph played primarily as a back-up for Vesa Toskala. The 41 year old played in 21 games for the Leafs. His record of 5-9-1 was not very good but the team in front of him was not the greatest either. He finished the season with a GAA of 3.57 and a Sv% of .869 which are not the greatest the numbers. The Leafs missed the playoffs and did not elect to re-sign Cujo.


Cujo had a final record of 138-97-28 with the Leafs over four seasons as a starter and one late-career gig season as a backup.  He ranks fifth all time in games played with the Toronto Maple Leafs and ranks fourth in all time wins.

Since their last Cup win in 1967, the Leafs have not even been to the Finals, but they have gone to four Conference Semi-Finals, two of which with Joseph as their goalie.

Joseph also holds the record for most career wins (454) by a goalie who never won the Stanley Cup. Cujo is a legend in Toronto and will forever be a fan favourite.

Next: Eye on the Enemy vol.3

Join me tomorrow for another comparison between past and present Leafs players.

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