Thursday, February 07, 2008

Kolzig: Not Stirring, But Shaken?

"I asked [Olie Kolzig] if he was upset about not playing [tomorrow night against Carolina] and he said he wasn't going to stir up anything in the media." - Corey Masisak

Whether that means that Olie is veteran enough to know that the media is not the place to stir up anything or whether he is veteran enough not to stir up anything at all, one thing seems clear - Olie isn't happy about not getting tomorrow night's start (one doesn't decline to stir up anything if there's nothing to stir up in the first place). And given how he has performed in his last two games and his career 26-13-8-1 record, 2.27 GAA, .922 save percentage and four shutouts against the 'Canes/Whalers, he'd be justified if he was a bit peeved.

So is there anything more to read into Brent Johnson getting the start in the biggest game of the season, or is Bruce Boudreau merely making sure both guys are both rested and in a rhythm down the stretch? It's almost certainly the latter. But I certainly don't blame Kolzig for wanting - and thinking he deserves - Friday night's start... and for not wanting to stir up anything in the media.

Update: Speaking of Kolzig and the media, Scott Burnside has a piece over on Olie at Money quote:
[A]nalysts, former NHL netminders and other league sources have told they believe Kolzig appears to have hit the wall, that his reflexes and size and intuition, all qualities he possessed in significant amounts over the course of his career, are now failing to consistently get the job done.


Brian said...

I'd like to send a big FU to Burnside for that article. The Caps were his sleeper pick at the start of the season. He forgot all about those articles he was going to write as he covered the team this season. Now he writes this little turd of a story instead of talking about the great things that have been happening this season, like a potential Hart and Calder trophy. I like to think there might be a Jack Adams nomination out there too, if we make the playoffs.

We've debated the Olie situation here for quite a while, and I think the pro-Olie and "anti"-Olie comments have had merit. Too bad Burnside couldn't have mentioned any of that information. Too much journalistic effort would have been required to state facts on both side and let the reader decide. Instead, he hides behind the skirts of "analysts, former NHL netminders and other league sources". Nice. I'm at least thankful he didn't blame Bettman's interference of the Nashville sale to Balsille as the reason for Olie's statistical decline.

Chris said...

This is complete B.S. I love Olie and respect what he has done for this team over the years, but this is B.S. The bottom line is that when he was playing every game he was not getting it done. That's it. Period. Since both goalies have been alternating games, both have looked better (and Johnson has looked very strong, even in his recent 4-0 loss), so BB is perfectly justified in trying to keep that rhythm.

Even if BB is wrong, Olie is veteran enough to know that it is not his place to say *anything* to the press. Saying he is not going to stir things up is almost worse than just going ahead and stirring them up. BB has earned the benefit of the doubt from all of his players given the radical change in the team's performance. That includes the veterans.

Olie, you are a great hockey player and a great ambassador for the game, particularly in this city. I have a tremendous amount of respect for you. Now keep you whining to yourself and do your $4-5 million per year job.

Anonymous said...

BB is putting his stoppers into a rotation much like the 6/7 defense spots and the 6/7 wingers. Competition is good and makes for better play. As to Burnside's comments who cares? The Caps are fun to watch and on a great roll. That's all I need.

Hazardous said...

I think too many people are reading too much into this.

Honestly, it just sounds like he basically said "I'm not giving you the pleasure of stirring shit up to boost your numbers."

I don't see how not whining = whining. No correlation whatsoever.

Chris said...

I respectfully have to disagree with hazardous. If he didn't want to say anything, he did not have to say anything, and he is veteran enough to know that. If he didn't mean anything, he picked a bad way of putting it, but I get the impression that there was more to it. In this case, I will be quite happy if I find out I am wrong, but I am not holding my breath.

JP said...

I agree that there's not too much to read into it other than the ultra-competetive number one goalie wanting to start the biggest game of the year.

But there's a difference between "I'm not going to stir up anything in the media" and "What do you mean? It's just the coach's rotation to keep us both fresh and sharp."

JP said...

What Chris said.

Anonymous said...

Trust me, there are going to be plenty more "big" games this season and Olie will get his chance to start in a lot of them. He'd have a much more legitimate beef if Johnson had started the last game and he was being passed over Friday night. As the saying goes, Olie needs to remember he's playing for the name on the front of the jersey, not the one on the back.

Anonymous said...

"But there's a difference between "I'm not going to stir up anything in the media" and "What do you mean? It's just the coach's rotation to keep us both fresh and sharp."

This is 100% true. This is precisely and exactly stirring something up in the media. I hope this doesn't undermine Big Boo's hold on the team's attention. I would be disappointed in the guys if that were to be the case. And if it were to become a contest between Olie and Boudreau for their loyalty. Now, THAT we don't need. Good heavens!

DMG said...

Re Burnside:

It's hard to say how many articles ESPN orignally planned about the Caps or who decides when they go up, so I don't know if we can blame him.

Plus beyond the one about Olie there's another one about the job Boudreau has done and the team getting to middle of the playoff race.

Paul Nichols said...

Olie will always get the benefit of the doubt with me.

I'm sure he's not thrilled at this point, but the fact is he hasn't been "Olie-like" this year. There have been plenty of times when I've thought "Wow, how did he not get that one?". But I think some of that might be because he's been such a good steady goaltender all these years.

IF IF IF this is the beginning of his ability "riding off into the sunset", as it inevitably does, he deserves slack from all of us.

Anonymous said...

can we please stop the "x game is the biggest of the year" talk? Every game here on out against an eastern conf team, or more importantly a SE division team, is equally important. Sure, we are fighting with the Canes for a 3 or 8 spot, but also with the Rags on Sunday for a 7 or 8 spot and the Thrash on Wed for a 3 or 8 spot. So yes, every game is the biggest one of the year

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Olie, who probably regretted his crack to Corey, for this slobberingly adoring string of quotes about how wonderful Big Boo has been, appearing in Tarik's article this morning entitled 'Caps Move to the Head of the Class':

Anonymous said...

I respect what Olie's done and agree that he should want it, but you can't bring up relatively archaic stats for GAA and save percentage. He is what he is, and hopefully either he or Johnson will get HOT when the playoffs start.