Every now and then, I make an entry talking about someone getting a raw deal. My last one was on Sergei Fedorov and the deal he got at the beginning of the season. Now, I am going to talk about Cujo and Hasek.
Don’t get me wrong, I have respect for Hasek. He did help bring Detroit another Stanley cup in 2002. I am very proud of that. However, the way he conducted himself this year made me sick. The way he walked into training camp and tried to get the players to side with him for example. The shots he fired through the media saying he was the best option Detroit had. Finally, himself calling it quits for the season. The Red Wings didn’t make that announcement, Hasek did. It was as if he said, “I am taking my ball and going home”. Earlier in the season, I had my doubts on if he would be ready. I questioned his health at first, and now that he is gone with that injury, I am pretty sure I was right. Now, I am questioning his ethics and behavior.
Now, onto Cujo.
I am not going to get into the whole “bad cop, good cop” comparison, but it definetly seems that Cujo was the good cop in this. He handled himself very well this season all things considered. The organization placed him on waivers, the trading block, sent him down to the minors, and I think hurt his feelings in the process. However, he bounced back through all that adversity. As a goaltender, I understand his fustration with the whole situation.
I will go on record as saying that the sweep last year was NOT Cujos fault. It was the team’s fault. The scorers weren’t scoring and the Mighty Ducks did everything right. Yes, there were a couple soft goals scored in that series. The Steve Thomas shot from the faceoff circles at the Joe in game 2 is a key one in my book. However, the Wings didn’t get anything soft past Giguere and that is why he won the Conn Smythe. Soft goals are scored on EVERY goalie. Even elite goaltenders get hit with one of those every now and then. Joseph had a better GAA in 4 games in the playoffs than Hasek did. I could go on and on talking about this issue.
My hope is that Joseph returns from the ankle sprain he got last night and proves all these nay-sayers wrong.