Blair Misses The Boat on Cujo

How long was the all-star break again?  Wow do the buds look rusty tonight?  The team hasn’t looked this sloppy in a long time.  In  any event.  You all know how much I love the recent work of Jeff Blair.  I think it is fantastic for example that he is in Minnesota for the game against the Wild.  Having said that, his article this evening on Curtis Joseph is off base I think.  Cujo’s role this year is pretty basic.  Fill in when necessary.  I am not sure who defined the role as anything other then that.  Pogge needs to play.  Toskala needs to play, the backup needs to sit there and look pretty, I mean be ready when needed.  It’s no more then that.

“In reality, the winding down of the 41-year-old goaltender’s career now seems like a slow, steady stroll into a dead end, and on mornings like this, you want to ask: Hey, Cujo. What’s the point? He is a bystander as the new Maple Leafs brain trust ratchets up what is effectively a 21/2-month training camp to set up the pecking order for next season. One of the key components of that will be deciding what exactly the team has in Justin Pogge, who was scheduled to return to the Toronto Marlies Wednesday morning after making his second career start for the Leafs Tuesday night.”

Why?  Someone needs to be sitting at the end of the bench.  Does anyone think any less of Joseph’s career for being that guy?  Seems to me that he is the perfect guy for the job. He is a warm body who is happy to be here who can fill in when needed and isn’t going to get pissed when he isn’t.  Toskala has to play either for the team’s performance of his trade value.  Pogge needs to play in the NHL to get his feet wet, and in the AHL to keep “sharp”.  So you need someone who can be there just in case.

“He addressed the apparent pointlessness of it all. There is the money, true, and there are suggestions he’s been a loyal soldier to land an organizational job next year, although he denied that, saying he was still focused on the season.“In the summer, they [the Maple Leafs] told me I would play only a limited amount of games and did I still want the job and I said yes,” said Joseph, who has played in 11 games this season and has a save percentage of .850.”

If he becomes a coach or something similar then all the better, the ends will have justified the means.  Would it have been great if he came in and stood on his head, for sure.  That he hasn’t isn’t a crime.  It’s unfortunate, but nothing to be down on,  He has a roll to play and it says here he has played it.  As for the money part, good on him for getting it.

““I didn’t look around the league for a job last summer,” Joseph said. “To play for the Maple Leafs again was a priority. Do I feel the same way now? Of course I do. Playing for the Maple Leafs is a great deal.”

I have no problem with this, doesn’t sound like he does either…Who else should be backing up Toskala?

Read Blair here

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