Caps Meet Hawks, Kolzig Retires, Carlson Cut

Posted by Dave Nichols | Wednesday, September 23, 2009 | , , , , | 0 comments »

The Washington Capitals host the Chicago Black Hawks tonight at 7:00 pm from Verizon Center.

According to Capitals Insider, this morning's skate at Kettler was optional, so the line pairings weren't announced, but the Ovechkin-Backstrom-Knuble line is expected to play.

Other forwards on tonight's roster:  Semin, Laich, B. Gordon, Clark, Laing, Osala, A. Gordon, Perreault, Wilson and Sugden

Defense:  Green, Morrisonn, Pothier, Poti, Jurcina, Sloan

Semyon Varlamov is slated to start with Michael Neuvirth backing him up.

Olaf Kolzig, the long-time face and heart of the Washington Capitals, announced his retirement today after 14 NHL seasons.  He finishes with 719 career games (711 with Washington).  His 303 career wins are 21st all-time, and he posted a 2.71 GAA and .906 save percentage with 35 career shutouts.
"Olie was the face of the Capitals franchise for years, on the ice, in the locker room and around Washington, D.C. He was a great Capital and the organization and our fans will always have fond memories of 'Olie the Goalie.' We wish him and his wonderful family all the best in his retirement." -- Capitals Chairman/Owner Ted Leonsis
It's a matter of short order before Kolzig's No. 37 hangs in the rafters with Yvan Labre's No. 7, Rod Langway's No. 5, Dale Hunter's No. 32 and Mike Gartner's No. 12.  Kolzig and Peter Bondra will complete a formidable "first line" of retired numbers when they are honored soon.
Goaltender Jason Bacashihua, defensemen John Carlson and Patrick McNeill and forwards Francois Bouchard, Andrew Joudrey and Steve Pinizzotto have been reassigned to AHL Hershey, which opened its training camp Monday.

The only mild surprise in the first wave of cuts was Carlson, the 19-year old defenseman.  Coach Bruce Boudreau said Carlson needed more seasoning in the AHL. 

"I just think he needed more time," Boudreau said. "I told him yesterday, 'You're going to be a great NHL player.' Mike Green, Jeff Schultz, all of our young D have spent considerable time in the minors and the formula has worked. There's no need to rush him with the amount of solid NHL defensemen that we have here."

The training camp roster is at 36, with three preseason games in eight days to set the opening night lineup, Oct. 1 in Boston.


Wednesday, Sept. 23

10 a.m.: Morning skate
10:30 a.m.: Practice (non-game players)
7:00 p.m.: vs. Chicago, Verizon Center

Thursday, Sept. 24
10 a.m.: Morning skate
11:15 a.m.: Practice (non-game players)
7 p.m.: at New York Rangers, Madison Square Garden, New York, N.Y.

Friday, Sept. 25
Day Off