St Louis Blues: Top 30 Goaltenders in Franchise History

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Dec 31, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Red Wings former forward Mickey Redmond (20) shoots on Toronto Maple Leafs former goalie Curtis Joseph (31) during the Alumni Showdown as part of the Winter Classic at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

1. Curtis Joseph

1989-95; 280 games, 137-96-34 record, .907 save percentage, 3.04 GAA, 5 shutouts; 34 postseason games, 16-16 record, 2 shutouts; 1994 NHL All-Star

It’s certainly up for debate because no goaltender has been able to bring the St Louis Blues the elusive Stanley Cup throughout the franchise’s 48-season history. For these rankings, though, Curtis Joseph is the greatest goaltender in Blues history.

“CuJo” is the all-time franchise leader in saves, second in both games played and wins, and perhaps most impressively, he accumulated a .907 save percentage during his Blues career. That was good for fourth in franchise history since they started recording the statistic—despite the fact that he played in four of the top 20 highest-scoring seasons in modern NHL history while with the Blues.

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Joseph came up for the 1989-90 season following the trade of Greg Millen, and he played in 15 of the Blues’ final 40 games, earning the starting nod as the playoffs got underway. He got off to an impressive start and led the Blues to a first-round series win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, but he suffered an injury in Game 1 of the Division Finals and was knocked out for the rest of the postseason.

Joseph’s career took a downturn in the next season, as he lost the starting job to Vincent Riendeau and didn’t see any playoff action. He began his dominance in 1991-92, though, averaging 66 starts a season over the next three campaigns and leading the St Louis Blues to three straight playoff appearances.

In each of those seasons, he was ranked first in the NHL in goalie point share by Hockey Reference, and in both 1992-93 and 1993-94, he earned Vezina Trophy consideration. Joseph also delivered a strong performance during the lockout-shortened 1995 season, putting up a 2.79 goals-against average that was the lowest of his Blues career while receiving Vezina votes again.

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Besides his superior statistics while playing part of his St Louis Blues career in a very high-offense era, “CuJo” also earns the edge over Liut because he was more efficient during the postseason, even if he did have his share of playoff struggles. Following his aforementioned strong playoff performance as a rookie, Joseph helped the Blues to a first-round victory over the Blackhawks in 1992-93, then gave his club a good chance to win in a seven-game second-round series loss to the Maple Leafs.

After being swept in the first round of the 1993-94 playoffs by the Dallas Stars, Joseph delivered his only playoff performance that was severely lacking in 94-95, winning three games of a seven-game first-round series loss to the Vancouver Canucks, but putting up an .865 save percentage and 3.67 GAA while being benched for backup Jon Casey in Games 2 and 5.

Unfortunately, Joseph lost the confidence of coach Mike Keenan after failing to establish himself as an elite playoff goaltender. The Blues signed Grant Fuhr in July of 1995 and traded Joseph to the Edmonton Oilers the next month.

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Joseph would go on to play 13 more seasons in the NHL and played in 99 playoff games after leaving the Blues, winning 47 and collecting shutouts in 14, despite the fact that he never won a Stanley Cup championship.