Capitals associate goaltending coach and fan favorite Olie Kolzig was in town on Wednesday and after working with Tomas Vokoun and Michal Neuvirth on the ice in practice, he spoke with reporters about a number of topics.
Kolzig addressed Neuvirth’s frustration at not starting against San Jose and the trials of being a young goaltender, Dale Hunter’s decisions as a coach (more on both of those to come) and how he’s seen Alex Ovechkin evlove from when he began his career to now.
Part of the reason the Capitals captain has struggled, Kolzig suggested, is that he may be “wrapped up too much in the rock star status that comes with being Alex Ovechkin.”
Kolzig’s full comments are after the jump:
“I think a lot is frustraton,” Kolzig began. “Obviously he’s not scoring at the clip he’s accustomed to. Part of that is not having Nicky Backstrom in the lineup. Alex — and I think I’m seeing it a little more with Dale behind the bench – Alex was getting away from playing the hard, no-nonsense, honest type of hockey, exuberant hockey that he displayed the first three years that he was in the league.
“I think that’s what endeared him to everybody. Then all of a sudden he was the same Alex, he was celebrating certain ways and what endeared him to everybody now made him look like a villain.
“So, I think part of it is he’s feeling a little not as loved as he used to be, he brings that on himself sometimes,” Kolzig continued, “But I think obviously missing Nicky, it hurts. Teams have kind of kind of got a handle on him, maybe how to close the gap on him and not allow him to score those fantastic one-on-one goals that he used to score.
“For Alex, it’s a work ethic,” Kolzig said. “He just has to get back to being the way he was in his younger days and maybe not get wrapped up too much in the rock star status that comes with being Alex Ovechkin.”
More from Post Sports:
— Kolzig on Hunter’s no-nonsense style
— Capitals have no room for error
— Mike Green on the ice for Capitals’ practice
— Hamilton: Is it time for the Capitals to panic?
— Washington’s troubles spread off the ice