Earlier today, PHT revealed former Washington Capitals goalie (and current goalie coach) Olaf Kolzig’s illuminating perspective on Alex Ovechkin.
CSNWashington.com’s Chuck Gormley also gathered some quips from “Godzilla” regarding head coach Dale Hunter, who Kolzig also played with in parts of seven seasons.
“As a coach, you’re going to bruise some egos and hurt some feelings,” Kolzig said. “But that’s what he believes in, and if that’s what it’s going to take to get this team close to winning a Stanley Cup, and at the end of the day if that happens, all those unpopular decisions all of a sudden will look pretty smart.”
Interestingly enough, Kolzig points to Hunter’s one-year contract as a strength for the bench boss, which is an, um, unusual perspective. (Is that kind of instability really what any head coach wants, even a “tough guy” like Hunter?)
I’ll be honest, when the Capitals decided to promote an OHL coach* after firing Bruce Boudreau – whose previous job was in the AHL – I furrowed my brow more than a bit. It seems like a lateral move on paper, if not a step back.
Hunter’s run hasn’t really done a ton to make the move seem brilliant, but Kolzig has a point; if the Capitals come through in the playoffs, Hunter will look like a guy with his “finger on the pulse of the team” and all that cliched fun.
Of course, Hunter’s first task is getting Washington in the playoffs in the first place, which is far from a guarantee.
* – Even one with such obvious historical ties to the franchise as Hunter.