Indomitable, Impenetrable

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By Michael Wilbon
Saturday, May 9, 1998; 9:40 PM

KANATA, ONTARIO -- The Washington Capitals didn't win Game 4 Wednesday night, Olaf Kolzig did.

By himself.

Kolzig beat the Ottawa Senators. Kolzig withstood his teammates, too. It's tough to tell which was more difficult.

Every Capitals player should go to an ATM Thursday, withdraw the amount of one game check, put the money in an envelope, hand it to Kolzig, and beg his forgiveness.

It's as if the Capitals were hazing their goaltender, putting him through some sort of torture test to prove his loyalty.

You name it, the Capitals stunk up the joint trying to do it.

They couldn't stand up in open ice. Couldn't hold on to the puck. Couldn't forecheck. They took more stupid penalties. And they sure couldn't shoot. You know what their apparent strategy was? Rope-a-dope.

You know how we've all anointed Dominik Hasek Goalie For Life? Well, Hasek has to share that title with Kolzig until further notice -- how about the next series, against Buffalo? -- because at the moment, for these playoffs, they're even.

I think I can say with some certainty that Kolzig's performance in Game 4 is the greatest playoff performance by a Capitals player in franchise history.


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© 1998 The Washington Post Company

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