Cujo, May head into sunset?

LANCE HORNBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 2:12 PM ET

Curtis Joseph could appear in the Maple Leafs' net for the final time tonight, as Brad May marks his 1,000th NHL game.

The two milestones will take minds off an otherwise meaningless home game for Toronto, though it can nudge the Buffalo Sabres off the playoff ledge they've been clinging to for a few weeks.

Joseph and Martin Gerber will split the last two regular season home games, Gerber taking on the Ottawa Senators this Saturday.

Joseph, who turns 42 on April 29, is hoping to play next season, but Gerber's record of 6-6 since arriving here and games such as Tuesday's 47-save effort in New Jersey puts him in good stead to return next year if the Leafs want him, at least as a back-up.

Joseph will exit third among all Toronto goaltenders in wins with 138 before last night as well as eighth in losses with 96 and pending this evening's result possibly tied with Gump Worsley for the NHL record of 452 losses or improve to 455 wins, fourth in league history.

May is to be honoured in a pre-game ceremony by the league, the Leafs and the Sabres, who were his first of his six NHL teams. His immediate family is flying in from Anaheim, others coming in from the GTA and there are plans to play the famous tape of Sabres announcer Rick Jeanneret's 'May Day, May Day, May Day' from his 1993 playoff goal against the Boston Bruins. He becomes the 243rd player to reach 1,000.

"I started with a lot of guys who aren't around any longer," May said as he glanced at a special Leaf plaque at his stall at the Air Canada Centre. "The people change year to year, but you've got to know the pecking order and stay with it. You think about the trainers and all the other people you meet. On the bad days, there is always someone else in the room who will make you feel better."

Getting to 1,000 games wasn't easy for May, who didn't make it through a full season after playing the entire schedule his second and third years in the league, ending in 1994. There were injuries, suspensions, two NHL labour disputes and a series of healthy scratches.

"I had shoulder surgery not once, but four times and knee injuries that took me out of the playoffs," he said. "My biggest day was my first game, then my 100th game took me from a two-way contract to a one-way and my 400th changed my pension status."

May, 37, hopes to play another year. Leaf defenceman Luke Schenn, coming to the end of his first season, was amazed at May's longevity.

"He told that one day he will wallpaper his house with all the x-rays he's had taken in his career," Schenn said.


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