Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Blues' Pillar Proves Penetrable Fuhr Falters Again in Loss to Leafs

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Blues' Pillar Proves Penetrable Fuhr Falters Again in Loss to Leafs

Article excerpt

Before the Blues' two-game trip to Boston and Toronto, Grant Fuhr had been a pillar of strength for them.

When the Blues left St. Louis on Friday, Fuhr had a 2.70 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage. Thanks to Fuhr, the Blues had a four-game unbeaten streak - 3-0-1.

But somewhere between St. Louis and Boston, Fuhr lost his magic touch. He gave up four questionable goals in a 5-2 loss Saturday at Boston and struggled again in the Blues' 5-2 loss to Toronto on Tuesday. In his last two starts Fuhr has played 92 minutes and allowed eight goals on 55 shots. His GAA in that span is 5.22. His save percentage is .856.

"I've got a string of bad luck going," Fuhr said. "They're finding a way through and I'm missing them."

General manager/coach Mike Keenan, who had praised Fuhr before the trip began, pulled him in both games.

Keenan yanked Fuhr with 10 minutes to play against Boston and the Blues trailing 4-1, but didn't wait as long in Toronto.

Keenan yanked Fuhr after Benoit Hogue scored Toronto's third goal, at 8 minutes 33 seconds of the second period.

He later reinserted him for mop-up duty in the last 12:40 of the game, and he gave up a goal to Hogue on a redirection.

Rather than criticizing Fuhr, Keenan complained about referee Terry Gregson, and said both goaltending changes were made because of the officiating.

"I thought Grant played pretty well," he said. "It was a tough start for the team. We were on our heels in the first period, and they were helped with two five-on-threes. That determined the whole game early."

Toronto scored its second goal on a power play, with the Blues' Shayne Corson serving the Blues' third successive penalty. The Leafs had a two five-on-threes in that span.

"In the first 10 minutes, he didn't call anything, then he calls the five-on-threes," Keenan said. "And they tell me that officiating is improving."

Keenan said he pulled Fuhr after Hogue's power-play goal because the Blues were distracted by the officiating.

"I was trying to get some response out of the players," he said. "They were preoccupied by the officiating, and not concentrating on the game."

Keenan said he pulled Racine and put Fuhr back in "out of disgust about the officiating." The move came after the Blues' Roman Vopat had just been called for interference.

Hogue had a two goals and an assist. Linemates Mats Sundin and Sergio Momesso had assists on both goals. Former Blue Doug Gilmour, Dave Andreychuk and Ken Baumgartner also scored for the Leafs.

For good measure, Baumgartner punched out Denis Chasse with 1:05 to play.

Murray Baron and Peter Zezel scored the only goals against Felix Potvin, who started his eighth consecutive game.

A curiosity in the game was that center Dave Roberts did not center a line with Geoff Courtnall and Brian Noonan, as Keenan had said would happen. …

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