The Washington Capitals’ young goaltending duo has 719 games worth of NHL experience to lean on after the team announced that Olie Kolzig will assume the role of goaltending coach.
In addition to his long playing career as a netminder, Kolzig spent the last two seasons getting ready for this job as Washington’s associate goaltending coach.
“It helps a lot,” said Capitals GM George McPhee. “There’s no learning curve involved. He knows these players very well. He has worked with them at the NHL level and at the American league level. He won’t change their game very much at all; a couple of tweaks here and there, minor adjustments.”
Kolzig should also feel comfortable working with fellow Capitals coaches Adam Oates and Calle Johansson as the trio played together in the NHL for five campaigns.
Goaltenders Michal Neuvirth, 25, and Braden Holtby, 23, already have enjoyed a degree of success at the NHL level, but this is an important season for both of them. They each have the talent to become starters, but neither has played in more than 48 contests in a single NHL campaign and they will be competing fiercely for playing time.
Both are signed through 2014-15 and by the end of those contracts, it’s entirely possible that one will have firmly cemented himself as the team’s number one goaltender.
Scott Murray, who previously served on OHL Sudbury’s coaching staff, will take over as Washington’s associate goaltending coach.