St. Louis Blues: Revisiting Curtis Joseph’s 1992-93 Playoff Run

The St. Louis Blues entered the 1992-93 Stanley Cup Playoffs by securing fourth place in the Norris Division with just 85 points with a bleak outlook on the first round. Their goaltender put the team on his back however.

Fresh off a Stanley Cup Finals appearance, the Norris Division-leading Chicago Blackhawks looked primed to make another deep run. That would begin with taking out their rivals, the St. Louis Blues.

The Jeremy Roenick-led Blackhawks bounced the Blues in the first round of the playoffs the season prior in six games. The Blues had their sights set on redemption this time around after letting an early 2-1 series lead slip in their first go at it.

Third-year goaltender, and 25-year old, Curtis Joseph had just wrapped up a very strong regular season. He finished up posting 29 wins, a .911 save percentage and career highs in GSSA (57.42) and Goalie Point Shares (16.2). His performance put him among the league’s elite goaltenders, finishing third in the Vezina Trophy voting just behind Chicago’s Ed Belfour and Pittsburgh’s Tom Barrasso.

In dire need of some playoff magic, the Blues would heavily rely on Cujo throughout their playoff run – and he did not disappoint. The performance from Joseph would re-energize a city that had not beaten their bitter rivals in a playoff series in their last three tries while adding his performance to all-time Blues playoff lore.

Joseph struggled a little bit in game one of the Chicago series, allowing three goals on 27 shot attempts. The Blackhawks took a commanding 3-1 lead after Brian Noonan completed a hat trick in the second period.

Luckily goals by Denny Felsner, Brendan Shanahan, and Brett Hull propelled the Blues’ comeback to take a 1-0 series lead.

Cujo was dominant after game one. He pitched a 47-save shutout in game two on the road and a 34-save shutout at home in game three.

The Blues completed the sweep in game four behind a 29-save performance from 31 and an overtime goal from Craig Janney, creating images that will forever be seared into the minds of Blues fans.

In the series, Joseph stopped 134 shots out of 140 with two shutouts and a .957 save percentage. His performance in this series is one of the most important ones in Blues playoff history and gave the Blues a rare playoff series victory over the hated Blackhawks.

St. Louis Blues

TORONTO, ON – OCTOBER 7: Curtis Joseph #31 of the St. Louis Blues prepares for a shot during NHL game action against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on October 7, 1991. (Photo by Graig Abel Collection/Getty Images) )

The fun did not stop there for Cujo. In game one of a second-round matchup against the Toronto Maple Leafs, he ripped off a 61-save performance. Unfortunately for St. Louis, they were unable to get more than one goal against a red-hot Felix Potvin and fell 2-1 in double overtime.

Game two also needed extra time. Joseph was locked in once again collecting 57 saves on 58 shots in a 2-1 overtime victory. Joseph went on to post 31 saves in a game three loss and a whopping 40 saves in a victory in game six.

While the Blues eventually fell to the Maple Leafs in seven games, Curtis Joseph posted one of the most memorable goalie performances in St. Louis Blues playoff history. In 11 games, went 7-4 with a .938 save percentage. Additionally, there were four games where he posted more than 40 saves and three of them where he posted more than 45 saves.

Joseph would compete two more seasons in the Blue note. He posted solid seasons in both years before being controversially traded to the Edmonton Oilers.

Joseph went on to many more memorable performances and a long, successful NHL career that sadly saw him dominate the Blues, going 19-10-2 with five shutouts against the Note. However, it was his playoff run in 1993 that will forever make him a Blue in the city of St. Louis.