He was never comfortable when Glen Hanlon left. He was called out by the new coach that never coached a day in the NHL, suddenly his workload was much more and the back up, Brent Johnson, was getting better numbers. Kolzig was caught in a situation where he wasn't "the man" anymore.
Kolzig was entitled to that starting position, after all that he did for the organization. But, to be honest, all he did was lose for the last 5 years. Everyone assumed is numbers dropped because of the what was in front of him, a young inexperienced defensive core. But with Johnson performing better, it made it hard to justify what was going on with him.
Then the biggest insult. On the last year of his contract, a contract he signed knowing full well they may not get to the playoffs for another two years beyond it, they traded a pick for a goaltender with better numbers. Three's Company.
Kolzig improved when the trade happened, he's no dummy, he had to. He knew he would be sharing time with Huet and if he didn't produce he would sit. He was doing alright, he raised his goals against average up almost a full percentage point. He was big in net, just like the old days. There was always a part of me though that saw him try too hard, his competitive spirit was getting in the way of getting the job done. When an opponent scored against him, his negative attitude radiated amongst the team.
That's when Chicago happened. 5-0. It was the nail in the coffin. He couldn't compete with Huet's goal a game. He just let 5 goals past, and 3 of them seemed soft. Kolzig never got another start in net. Not that the fans or the coaches or management wanted it to end that way.
Removing the nameplate, walking out of the building silent and just going home. That was his response to an incredible Capitals' season. I am sure if he had talk to reporters, what he had to say couldn't be repeated in civilized conversation. He's upset, hurt, and bitter.
But what he fails to realize is the fans still love him. There were more Kolzig jerseys at game seven than Huet. There was more sympathy for him in this town, Kolzig was still King. He earned 300 wins here. He still wears the C even if the league won't let him sew it on. His actions after the season were a bit self centered and immature. But, truthfully, would we want Kolzig to be any other way?
Some other news and notes:
- Nicklas Backstrom was the only non-Blackhawk nominated for the Calder. He should get it, doesn't mean he will.
- Ratings for Game 7 were through the roof. Even talk of the Caps fans having more of pulse than Wizards fans. I thought I would never see the day. Still pisses me off though that Redskins Radio is still taking up an hour on CSN when they have zero to talk about. One can only listen to talk of Chad Johnson so much. He's not leaving Cincy!
- Bruce Boudreau was given a contract extension to be the Capitals' coach for a very long time. He is looking at houses in Maryland.
- Uncle Ted was probably the most inconsolable following the Game 7 loss. I heard fans cheered for him as he made his way to the locker room following the end of the game, he looked "very emotional." Aw.
- There was a very upset boy in our row following the game and all attempts to cheer him up were going south until one fan knelt to him and told him to cheer up. "If you are going to be a Caps fan, you are going to have a lot of days like these." Priceless.