On Wednesday, associate goaltending coach Olie Kolzig’s comments about ex-teammate Alex Ovechkin made some waves. Kolzig, the former long-time Capitals netminder and fan favorite, has always been known to tell it like it is, and when asked to assess Ovechkin’s career he was candid and blunt.
Kolzig stressed that Ovechkin needs to step up his work ethic and “maybe not get wrapped up too much in the rock star status that comes with being Alex Ovechkin.” (If you missed Kolzig’s full comments on the star left wing, check them out here.)
After practice on Thursday, Ovechkin and General Manager George McPhee had a chance to respond to Kolzig’s take on the captain. McPhee stood by Kolzig’s comments and said he didn’t have a problem with the assessment.
“I don’t disagree with anything that Olie said,” McPhee said. “What we have to understand is Olie had one of the highest work ethics of any player we’ve ever seen. It’s hard for anybody to match his level and he holds everybody to that standard. But you look at a player like Ovechkin, he wouldn’t be who he is if he didn’t work hard.
“But like all the great ones: a [Mario] Lemieux, or a [Sergei] Fedorov or a Corey Perry or an Ovechkin,” McPhee continued. “There are nights where you may not be giving it everything but your skill makes a difference and you help your club win a game. What we all learn is you have to be reminded once in awhile. If you’re working hard all the time that’s when you become unstoppable.”
Ovechkin responded with some snark when asked about Kolzig’s comments.
“Yeah I just want to look like him. He is a rock star, so — actually he was a rock star. Right now he’s in retirement,” Ovechkin said. “It’s no situation. I don’t think you guys have to give lots of attention about what he said.”
Ovechkin dismissed Kolzig’s notion that he’s not having as much fun as he did early in his career.
“He’s not on the team right now. He don’t travel. He see couple games and I was suspended when he saw it. So probably he didn’t see me lots of time like he used to see me,” said Ovechkin, who was then asked if he had spoken with Kolzig since the comments.
The star left wing offered a toungue-in-cheek response. “Yeah, we go out last night together, make some fun, happy time.”
More from Post Sports:
— Ovechkin, Wideman scrap in practice
— On Hockey: Kolzig speaks his mind
— Kolzig on Ovechkin’s “rock star status”
— Mike Green gets through first full session
— Capitals have no room for error
— Hamilton: Is it time for the Capitals to panic?
— Washington’s troubles spread off the ice