All-time Draft # 4b - The Minor League
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01-24-2006, 10:51 PM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: In "The System"
The Devils are proud to select a goalie who has played 60+ games for 7 straight years, and on pace for an another, and owns a stellar .930 sv% in the playoffs
He played junior hockey for the New Westminster Bruins and Tri-City Americans, with whom he became the first goalie in WHL history to score a goal, in a game on November 29, 1989. He led that high-scoring circuit with a 3.48 goals-against average in 1988-89, prompting the Washington Capitals to draft him in the first round 19th overall in the 1989 Entry Draft.
In 1994, he was named most valuable player in the AHL playoffs after his Portland Pirates won the Calder Cup championship. His exploits earned him a permanent spot on the Washington roster, at first as backup to Jim Carey for three years.
During the first round of the 1996 Stanley Cup playoffs, the Vezina Trophy-winning Carey began to play poorly, and Kolzig took over admirably, posting a 1.94 goals-against average and .934 save percentage in five appearances against the Pittsburgh Penguins. In one game, which lasted into a fourth overtime period, Kolzig played all 139 minutes and 15 seconds, saving 62 of 65 Pittsburgh shots. Petr Nedved finally scored on him to give the Penguins a 3-2 victory. The Penguins won the series, but Kolzig had won the affection of the Washington fans, who nicknamed him "Olie the Goalie."
In 1997, after a disappointing season in which the Capitals missed the playoffs for the first time since 1982, Carey was traded to Boston and Kolzig earned the number-one job. He won 33 games, played in his first NHL All-Star Game, stopping 14 of 17 shots in his one period of action, and was the key to Washington's excellent performance in the 1998 playoffs. He tied an NHL record with four shutouts, and the Caps made it all the way to the Stanley Cup finals before losing to the defending champions, the Detroit Red Wings.
Kolzig has continued to be the Capitals' workhorse between the pipes, playing 73 games and a league leading 4370 minutes in 1999-2000. In 2000 he was awarded the Vezina Trophy as the league's top goaltender and was a First Team All-Star.
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