Thursday, May 08, 2008

Kolzig Hangs 'em Up

Tarik caught up with the veteran goaltender over lunch and found out that Olaf Kolzig has "played his final game" for the Washington Capitals. Although he said he may not be done playing, he is done as a Capital.

Some quotes from the article:
--"For me, it was disappointing the way it ended," said Kolzig, who led the Capitals to their only Stanley Cup finals appearance in 1998. "It's unfortunate, because they have a good team here now. It's a fantastic team, fantastic group of guys. Not to be a part of that is going to be tough, especially after 17 years and three years of what we went through post-lockout." After a long pause, he added: "It just doesn't feel right. But at the same time, as an athlete, you have to know when to move on."

--"I realized that Game 7 was my last game as a Cap. That night was a very emotional time for me. I was one of the last guys to leave. It sucked that I wasn't playing, but I wanted us to go as far as we could. In the back of my mind, I thought that it's ironic, I'm not playing, but this could be our time to win a Cup. And in a weird way, this is how I get my ring, especially the way we were coming back. So I was even more disappointed when we lost Game 7, knowing that was going to be my last game."

Kolzig knew he was on his last legs, even telling management he had "2 or 3 years" left in him a season ago. When Cristobal Huet took over it meant something had to break. It didn't take a rocket scientist to realize that Kolzig, the best goaltender the Washington Capitals ever had, was close to the end.

#37 will be missed in this town, he has been an institution. Olie Kolzig made this city believe in '98, and we all hoped that he would do it again. But just like the awkward ending to the playoffs in Game 7 to the Philadelphia Flyers, it was an awkward end to Kolzig's brilliant career in Washington. There will never be another Godzilla like him.

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