Sunday, November 9, 2008

Wendel Moment #12 - Curtis Joseph takes a Wendel Clark slapshot to the face

On November 22, Wendel Clark's #17 will be raised to the rafters as the team honours its former captain and arguably the most popular player in franchise history.

In the lead up to that night, Down Goes Brown will feature a countdown of Wendel's Top 17 Greatest Moments.

Imagine you're Curtis Joseph.

It's May of 1993. You're the toast of the hockey world, after leading the Blues to a shocking round one sweep over the heavily-favored Blackhawks, and following that up with several spectacular games against the Leafs.

But now it's game seven, and you've run out of magic. The Leafs have jumped out to a 4-0 lead after one period, the Gardens is rocking, and you know that your dream season is about to come to a crushing end. Also, Mike Foligno recently roundhouse kicked you in the head. So these are tough times.

But take comfort. At least you know that now, at probably the lowest point of your career, things can not possibly get any OH SWEET JESUS HERE COMES WENDEL CLARK.

I think we all remember what happened next.

A few thoughts:
  • Let's face it, we all know Wendel did that on purpose.

  • On a related note, this was the only actual slapshot Wendel took in his entire NHL career.

  • If you listen closely, I think you can actually hear Cujo's goalie mask say "fuck this, I quit" as it leaps off of his head and makes a break for the exit.

  • Joseph's attempt to shrug it off as no big deal is actually sort of badass, or at least it would have been if Curt Giles hadn't completely ruined it by rushing over to give him a hug. That part kills me.

  • My favorite part of the entire sequence is the MLG crowd reaction: an excited buzz as they realize Clark has a chance at a hat trick, followed by momentary confusion when they see that he didn't score, followed by delirious cheers when they realize he's chosen to murder the other team's goalie instead.
I assume this incident was meant as a warning to Kelly Hrudey to not make any saves against Clark in round three -- a warning he wisely took to heart.


  1. hands down, my definitive Wendel moment. When I think of #17, I think of this slap shot. Oddly enough, it's also what I think of when I think of Cujo...

  2. I second that blurr, this moment was forever burned into my 10 year old brain when it happened, to this day I can remember that so vividly that it brings tears to my eyes.

  3. I was at this game and 10 years old at the time.

    I remember before the game my Dad said to me 'keep an eye on Wendel tonight', he looked like a maniac in the pre-game skate. Just unreal.

  4. Wow. This game is only #12? The top ten is gonna be freakin' awesome.

  5. I was 9 and thought Cujo was dead so I cheered lustily since he had given me heartburn over the entire series.

  6. The General is right, the top 10 is going to be pretty crazy.

    I remember that game like it was yesterday. What a win. What a series. What a team. What a Clark.

  7. I remember watching that game in a buddy's basement. The beers were flowing freely after that one.


  8. We all know what a Gordie Howe hattrick is. After this game, I tried to get everyone to officially acknowledge the Wendel Clark Hattrick; 2 goals and a goalie decapitation.

  9. I remember this game well. The first six games were all tension-filled affairs and my stomach was absolutely churning at the thought of another Game 7; blessed relief when Wendel and the boys delivered a curb stomping instead of a nail biter.

    I always thought Cujo believed Wendel shot deliberately at his head too. His initial reaction is all "I'm gonna go after that guy" and then he realizes it's Wendel and decides that he would prefer to keep his blood stored internally.

  10. clark clocked cujo in the kisser

  11. My favourite part is how Harry Neale says it hit him in the same spot that foligno kicked him. Makes me giggle like a child everytime.

  12. "On a related note, this was the only actual slapshot Wendel took in his entire NHL career."

    I love it, so funny- but the reality was that Wendel didn't have any fancy moves, just a wicked wrist shot. I remember watching this game back in the good ole days.

    Even though I played goal Wendel is my favorite player of all time, he was just amazing to watch.