Olie the Goalie

Archived from 1997-98 season.

NHL teams

Washington Capitals

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Capitals roster

Another team that has improved drastically from last year is the Washington Capitals. Now at 24-17-8, they will be back in the playoffs.

After missing the playoffs last spring for the first time in 15 years, the Capitals made big changes.They fired the coach and the GM and named Ron Wilson head coach and George McPhee general manager.

Players like Adam Oates and Peter Bondra are pivotal to the Caps success, but maybe the most important has been goalie Olaf Kolzig. He has emerged as first class goaltender this season getting the opportunity while Caps other netminder Bill Ranford has been costantly out of lineup with groin and back injuries. Kolzig has now a 22-10-6 record.

"Winning is addictive I love this," Kolzig said. "I'm a pretty competitive person, and sitting on the bench was hard for me. I developed some patience and it made me mentally tougher, but now that I'm playing a lot more, I really appreciate it."

Slap shots
NHL expansion team in Minnesota selected "Wild" as its nickname... Rick Tocchet of the Phoenix Coyotes was suspended for two games without pay and fined $1,000 by the NHL Friday for injuring Edmonton left wing Ryan Smyth during a Jan. 20 game... Chicago signed LW Bob Probert to a new three-year contract on Thursday. He is out for the season with a torn rotator cuff...

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