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A kinder, gentler Olie Kolzig? Yeah, right.

During training camp, Olie Kolzig said he expected his "frustration level" to be considerably lower this season. I asked if that meant there would be fewer stick-smashing episodes. The veteran netminder, who is famous for his obscenity-laced tirades, said, "maybe."

Well, it took only one regular season game--Thursday's 5-2 loss to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden--for his frustration level to blow through Verizon Center's roof. As Kolzig left the ice following practice today, he snapped his goal stick over the dasher board, then repeatedly smacked it against the wall as he stormed toward the dressing room. And, just for good measure, he kicked a few things in his path.

Some team leaders get their teammates' attention by calling closed-door meetings. Kolzig breaks stuff.

I caught up with him a few minutes later. He was walking around with a power drill. I jokingly asked him to put it down. He smiled and said, "You have nothing to worry about". (He was actually working on the dressing room's surround sound speaker system.)

"Just blowing off steam," he said of the tirade. "We wanted a better result last night and it didn't happen. So I just blew off some steam."

Asked what he thought of Jaromir Jagr being named captain of the Rangers, and then scoring a goal on him 29 seconds later, Kolzig said: "He seems to be comfortable and enjoying his time in New York. I don't know if that was ever the case here. It's too bad that he didn't have that same enthusiasm and exuberance he's showing in New York. Obviously he's showing a different side there, for them to name him captain. Good for him."

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  October 6, 2006; 2:11 PM ET
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That's awfully diplomatic of Olie to say what he said about Jagr. I for one was disgusted to see him named captain, and wish him and the rest of the Blueshirts nothing but abject failure the rest of the season. Its just incredible how a player can go from a pouting, sulking, moody, self-centered "part-time" player in Washington to the vaunted leader of an original six franchise.

Posted by: pepper | October 6, 2006 5:22 PM | Report abuse

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