Melrose: 'Olie Will Be Able to Handle it'
Lightning Coach Barry Melrose went out of his way this morning to say that Olie Kolzig wanted to play tonight.
"We asked Olie, and I felt we owed it to him," Melrose said. "I know some goalies would rather not play this game. I said that it would be no problem, that I would just tell the press that I didn't want you to play this game. He said, 'No, I want to play this game. I've wanted to play this game since I left.'
"It was slam dunk," Melrose added. "I hope he plays great. He loves this place, he loves the people here and he wants to put in a great effort."
Asked whether he's worried that Kolzig might struggle to keep his emotions in check, Melrose said: "Nope. A guy like Olie who's played in the Stanley Cup finals, played in the Olympics, played in worlds ...Olie will be able to handle it. It will be an emotional time and I'm sure he'll be thinking about it today. But he'll be able to handle it."
Melrose also got in a good natured dig at his good friend, Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau.
"I just have to make sure I out dress him," said Melrose, who was wearing a black shirt and a black suit. "Gabby is one of my favorite guys in the whole world. I played with Gabby for three years. I think I'm the last coach to coach him in the American Hockey League. He's done a great job here. He's what hockey is all about. I'm glad to see him finally get a chance to coach in the NHL and do a great job."
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