Monday, January 14, 2008

Cowtown clicks for Cujo!

Cujo is Alberta bound once again; the only difference is he’ll stay on the Trans Canada Highway into Calgary this time around, instead of heading north to Edmonton.

Curtis Joseph, hot off of his spectacular Spengler Cup showing, weighed the offers and if reports are correct, decided that Calgary’s potential came out ahead of the bright lights of Broadway.

Joseph signed on for a reported 600,000 to spend time as Miikka Kirpusoff’s stand in and insurance policy for the remainder of the season and playoffs.

It's a signing that may very well be one of the more important ones of the year for Daryl Sutter, providing as it does with a wealth of depth now at the key goal tending position. It will also allow head coach Mike Keenan to allow Kiprusoff more than an occasional day off, since the season began the Finn has been in the nets for 45 of the Flames 46 games, a plan which is good for repetition but ripe for burnout if it were to continue much longer.

Bringing in Joseph, who last worked with Keenan thirteen years ago, allows the Flames to rest their franchise goaltender and at least feel secure that the game won’t be a lost cause before they take to the ice.

The interesting dynamic very well may be the one between Joseph and Keenan, when they last shared time together in St. Louis it was the era of the Iron Mike persona, a clash of attitudes that reportedly made for some rather tense times around the Blues locker room.

Now, seemingly in the era of the kinder, gentler Mike, perhaps the seasoned veteran and Zen like coach will mesh into one karmic convergence of peace.

Or maybe not, regardless, having another name for Keenan to share time with can only be a relief for Kiprusoff, taking some of the pressure off in the heated moments and perhaps directing those occasional flashes of the Old Iron Mike into a different direction of the room.

For the Flames though it’s another sign that the management believes that this is the year for the team to make its move upwards in the Conference and make strides to return to the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Securing the back end certainly is indication that Calgary is going to be a team to watch when the playoffs roll around in a few months. If Joseph can return to game shape in quick fashion, the combination of Cujo and Kipper may very well one of the key ingredients for a long and rewarding playoff run.

No comments: