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Kolzig: 'The butterflies started last night'

Starting goaltenders don't usually talk to reporters after the morning skate, but Olie Kolzig made an exception today. Standing outside of the visitors' dressing room at Verizon Center, a room he had never been in before today, here's what the former Cap had to say:

"November 10th came a lot quicker than I thought," he said smiling. "I'm excited, I'm nervous, there's a lot of emotions going on right now. I'll just be happy when the puck drops and I can get into it."

"I probably haven't been this nervous since my first game," he continued. "It's weird. When I came into the city yesterday I started having all these memories and flashbacks. It's kind of odd coming in as a visitor. The butterflies started last night. But as an athlete, where you have butterflies it's good because you're aware."

"I'll never, ever forget my time here, but I'm at a point in my career where I've got to move on. I'll reflect on it when I retire."

Kolzig said he went to dinner last night with Brent Johnson, Shaone Morrisonn, David Steckel, Matt Bradley, Matt Pettinger and Chris Clark.

"It was a good time," Kolzig said. "Lots of good stories."

Kolzig also revealed that he had off-season surgery to repair a hip injury he suffered late last season. It wasn't anything that affected his play, he said, but it was "something he needed to get taken care of."

Asked about the video tribute the Caps plan to show in the first period, Kolzig shrugged and said, "I wasn't expecting anything. This is new for me. I don't know what to expect. I just want to get ready for the game tonight and let things go and handle things as they come."

As for facing his old teammates and whether that might translate into an edge for him, he said: "You could say that. Or maybe they have advantage because they know where to shoot on me. They haven't seen in me in a couple of months. I would like to say I've worked on my game a little more. I'm hoping our guys do the job in front of me and that I'm there when they need me to make a save."

As for Ovechkin's crack this morning about getting under his skin by shooting high, Kolzig smiled and fired back, "The difference was, in practice, when it was head high, I couldn't take any liberties because he was my teammate. Now? Heads up."

Now that's the Kolzig I remember.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 10, 2008; 12:17 PM ET
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Next: Eminger Surprised by Trade to Tampa


From today:

Top 10 Selling Items On (October 1 - 31, 2008)
2008 Hockey Fights Cancer Tie
Buffalo Sabres Third Jersey
Sidney Crosby: On the Ice and Beyond DVD
NY Rangers Team Color Premier Jersey
Edmonton Oilers Third Jersey
Washington Capitals Team Color Premier Jersey
Montreal Canadiens Team Color Premier Jersey
Philadelphia Flyers Team Color Premier Jersey
2007-08 Detroit Red Wings Stanley Cup Championship DVD
2008 NHL Reflections Book

Top 5 Selling Player Jerseys on (October 1 - 31, 2008)
1. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
2. Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
3. Mike Richards, Philadelphia Flyers
4. Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers
5. Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins

Washington is officially a HockeyTown! This is awesome.

Posted by: DannyBoy1975 | November 10, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

OMG i'll probly cry tonight. this is so emotional. I mean tonight marks the official time, this is it, Olie is no longer on the Caps :(. I hope we win, but I hope it's close and I hope he makes some Zilla! saves!

Posted by: capsfan387 | November 10, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I can only say one thing for absolute certain about tonight:

It's going to be an interesting night.

Tarik, I'd love to hear what attendance was for this game, when it's over. I bet it's astronomical for a Monday night.

Posted by: kittypawz | November 10, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Tonight is going to be fun!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 10, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised nobody has commented yet that Olie Welcome Night comes just as the Caps' "crash the net for dirty goals" movement gets into high gear.

I hope we get some early snipes so we don't feel obligated to crash Olie's net the entire night. But I guess Ovie bowling over Olie and getting whacked in the head with a goalie stick will go a long way in both sides moving on... :)

Posted by: austinsteve | November 10, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Cerealman et. al.:
I am surprised that so many people can't accept that you can have allegiace to your team but still wish a player on another team well. I want the Caps to win but I also want to show Olie the respect that he deserves. I'll cheer when we score, but I will cheer for Olie, too. Frankly, I hope both keepers have great games - it will make it more exciting when we win! ;-)

I know what it means, it is just not something you hear a lot (unless you are, well, you know! ;-)).

Posted by: Boo- | November 10, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I was really hoping that Smith would start, give up 5 quick ones, then get pulled for Ollie, who would pitch two periods of shutout hockey as the Caps won 5-0. Then everyone would have been happy.

I've got my ticket for tonight. I will salute Ollie before the game, but can only root for the Caps during the game.

Posted by: Baildog | November 10, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

I hope I can find a decent web stream of tonight's game. I'm really looking forward to it. Mauree, if you find any, I'd love to know about them. :)

Olie had surgery to repair a hip injury, huh? And he's playing far better this season. Hmm...

Posted by: theGelf | November 10, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm 35, so i basically grew up with Olie as our goalie. He is one of the classiest and most generous professional to ever come through DC and stay in DC when his options were certainly brighter elsewhere. I wish him well this year especially after what appeared to me as unfair treatment on managements part last year. Hopefully, when he retires, it will be as a Capital and they shower him with a public party fit for a king. Number 37 should be hanging from the rafters.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 10, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Caps fans visit:
for more great info on the Caps!

Posted by: bagasome | November 10, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

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