SUN Hockey Pool

In dog-eat-dog NHL, ex-teammates love Cujo

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 2:49 PM ET

NASHVILLE -- A career that started in St. Louis really took off in Edmonton.

A couple of Curtis Joseph's former Oilers teammates are together in Nashville now and will never forget the unusual, but effective, style their netminder displayed in first-round playoff series wins over the Dallas Stars in 1997 and Colorado Avalanche in '98 that both went seven games.

"In the playoffs, he just stole the show," recalled centre Jason Arnott.

"We wouldn't have beat Dallas if it wasn't for him."

The 40-year-old goalie made a name for himself with flashy saves that can be hard to describe -- a twisting, cross-bodied glove stop is one that stands out in Arnott's mind.

Joseph made a living looking frantic.

"It doesn't look pretty, but he gets the job done," said Greg DeVries.

"He's never out of the play. He's always battling. His style is -- when the puck is scrambling around the net -- it's a little crazy. He's making kick saves, and diving around, but he seems to keep the puck out of the net."

For the Calgary Flames, that's the bottom line, as he's expected to join the team when it returns from the current road trip to solidify the position between the pipes.

Joseph will give Miikka Kiprusoff a rest but will also help test shooters in practice.

Arnott laughs while remembering attempts to beat Joseph both as a teammate and as an opponent.

"You come down on him and think you have him beat, and he just comes out of nowhere and makes a save," Arnott said. "When he's out of position, he's always in position. He's a hard goalie to beat because of that."

Leadership isn't always a goaltender's strong suit, but Joseph is probably going to be comfortable in that role.

"He's a great guy, great addition to the team. With a veteran presence, he'll be a great guy in the locker-room and a solid goaltender," said DeVries. "He's a good pickup."

Masked men are often viewed as oddballs, but DeVries says the Flames netminder is "probably one of the more normal goalies" he's met.

Arnott doesn't see Joseph as a quiet cornerman, either -- at least, not exclusively.

"He talks when he needs to talk," Arnott said. "A lot of the times, he goes out and lets his play (do the talking)."


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