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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."

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 10, 2008; 12:56 PM ET
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I'll say it again. I hope we win and I hope Kolzig doesn't get embarrassed. 3-0 sounds good to me.

It's a lock that Ovechkin scores tonight.

Posted by: SombreroGuy | November 10, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I think I'd rather heckle Barry more then I want to heckle Emmy, but I will not speak poorly of Olie.

Posted by: goskinsgo | November 10, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I agree SombreroGuy. Over/under goals for Ovie: 4.5

Melrose, what a character.

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

Good lord if Ovie doesn't score tonight I will start to panic.

Posted by: _jordan | November 10, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Haven't seen this mentioned on here yet, which is kinda weird. Brent was named NHL's 3rd star of the week:


Making three consecutive starts for the first time since March 2007, Johnson posted a 2-0-1 record with a 1.63 goals-against average and .953 save percentage as the Capitals collected five of six available points. He made a season-high 42 saves in a 2-1 overtime loss at Ottawa Nov. 4, stopped 32 shots in a 3-2 victory over Carolina Nov. 6 and made 28 stops in a 3-1 victory over the New York Rangers Nov. 8. Johnson improved his season record to 3-1-2 with a 2.12 goals-against average and .929 save percentage in six appearances. Since Bruce Boudreau was named head coach on Nov. 22, 2007, Johnson is 9-3-3 with a 2.19 goals-against average and .925 save percentage as a starter.

Posted by: ranndino | November 10, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Good for BJ. Well deserved.

Posted by: cbs75 | November 10, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

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

Posted by: bagasome | November 10, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

The Caps should be commended for paying tribute to Olie; he was such a mainstay-player, his career extended back to the days of Langway!
Olie, here's a tip of my hat to you!

Posted by: Max23 | November 10, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

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