13. Curtis Joseph
Goalie, 1990-95; 280 games, 137-96-34 record, 3.04 GAA, .907 save percentage, five shutouts
“CuJo” may be looked upon unfavorably by those who take a quick glance at his Blues statistics and jump to conclusions. A further examination of his career and a realization that he played during a very high-offense era, however, proves that he was without a doubt one of the best two goaltenders in Blues history, with Mike Liut being his only real competition for the top spot.
Joseph was called up after the new year in 1990, and while he didn’t lock down the role as the Blues’ clear number one goalie until 1991-92, he quickly established himself as one of the league’s elite netminders when given the opportunity. Joseph led the league in saves for three straight years from 1991-92 to ’93-’94, leading the league in save percentage in ’92-’93. He earned an All-Star berth in 1994, and he got votes for the Vezina Trophy after every season from 1992-93 to ’94-’95.
Relative to his counterparts, Joseph was also one of the Blues’ most successful postseason netminders. He played in the third-most playoff games (34) of any goalie in Blues history, and he led them to two series victories. It’s arguable that he could have led them to more if injuries hadn’t gotten in the way during the early part of his Blues career. He suffered an injury in Game 5 of the Blues’ to a 4-1 series victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1990, and he missed the entire 1991 postseason with a knee injury. Joseph has the third-most playoff wins in Blues history, trailing Liut and Greg Millen, who are tied at 17.
Unfortunately, Joseph became a victim of head coach/GM Mike Keenan’s quick hook. The Blues lost first-round playoff series with Joseph in net for two consecutive years, leading Keenan to go out and sign accomplished veteran Grant Fuhr (who was nearing the end of his prime by the time he arrived in St. Louis and didn’t accomplish a whole lot with the Blues). Joseph, meanwhile, went on to play 13 more seasons and played in 99 more playoff games after leaving St. Louis.