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The Washington Capitals Need Great Play, NHL Netminders Revisited and My Great Hospital Stay

April 19, 2008

I’m back after a necessary break, but I’m sending greetings from somewhere other than the Great Hockey Void! Finally, I have moved my assorted belongings to a new apartment. I also spent some quality time with the staff at Good Samaritan Hospital over the last month. My friend Jenn and her family were all very helpful and made sure I felt secure that my cats and other daily details were taken care of properly. I can’t imagine what my hospital stay would be like if Jenn hadn’t stepped-up and taken care of business for me! I extend my very heartfelt thanks to the Wilson – Arnett clan in Jarrettsville, MD.



I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention Mr. Sammy at Good Samaritan. He made absolutely sure that I got to see every Washington Capitals game on a good TV while I was away from home and unable to make it to the games. Mr. Sammy ROCKS the house! He didn’t know very much about hockey, but he was more than willing to listen to me explain things in ridiculous detail and shout instructions to the guys during the games. He made my time in the hospital go by extremely quickly. I had no problems telling him all about the Washington Capitals. He told me the day before I left the hospital that I knew more about the Caps than anyone he knows. I suppose when one has been a fan of the Capitals for 20+ years, a good bit of team info. gets into one’s head. The CAPS ROCK!


It was difficult to get internet access at the hospital, so blogging was not an option for me, but I did get a lot research done, as far as certain things are concerned. Someone found one of my Hockey Goalie books and brought it to me to break up the monotony of my hospital stay. I had already read through the book, but it turns out that I hadn’t absorbed all of the goodies in said book. I had plenty of time to learn some new things and that also helped me pass the time. Since, the subject of hockey goalies has come around, I suppose I will continue what I started last month.


There are many HNL Goalies to track and I can’t say that I have a good hold on the “goaliness” of all the goalies who have played an NHL game this season. I have finally figured out all of the trades and injuries of the 44 or so goalies who are set to play at least 30 games this season. Of those, I can revisit the goalies who finished the season and are not in the playoffs at a later date. I’ll start with Cristobal Huet, starting netminder for the Washington Capitals. I’ll get to my thoughts in Olie Kolzig, back-up goalie for the Caps in this blog at some point. It was a great surprise to many Capitals fans that Huet was picked-up by the Capitals at the trade deadline. For some reason, I wasn’t surprised. I knew Huet was available. Although, I can’t for the life of me remember where I heard or read that he was available. I figured that McPhee and others were carefully considering the salary cap and contracts signed and not yet signed. It had occurred to me that if Huet were brought on board, there was a much higher chance of not only having an experienced netminder in the ’08-’09 season, but also having a higher chance of making it to and playing longer through the playoffs. When the announcement was made that Washington had acquired Huet, it seemed like a good idea to me.


Perhaps because I am “goalie” oriented, I thought it would be beneficial to have a depth of three netminders. If Huet or Kolzig were injured, Johnson could simply dress for back-up and the starter could feel confident that the back-up knows what he’s doing. If I put myself in a starter’s head during playoffs, personally I would have some peace of mind knowing that all three goalies are good and all three have experience. As a coach, I believe I would feel the same. I make no effort to conceal the fact that Olie Kolzig is my all-time favorite hockey player for many reasons. However, the fact that Huet is the playoff starter at the moment appears to be working out, so for the team’s sake, I can’t make waves or complain. Huet has made some amazing saves and he’s focused and nimble.


I can’t help but wonder what’s going on in Brent Johnson’s head. He is a free agent and Olie may decide to go elsewhere or perhaps even retire, so I guess he’s just waiting to see what happens. Congratulations go out to Martin Biron, who I hear is the daddy of his newborn second child. He’s been a big pain in the butt if you’re a Capitals fan or player for that matter. He’s solid and seems energized by the Flyers crowd. Capitals fans can make him see “red” today and he loses focus. GO CAPS!


As usual, I have much to type, but very little time, so I need to wrap-up for the moment. Before I go, I’ll mention that it wasn’t a big suprise that the Pens swept the Sens, and there are three netminders in the Western Division that have raised my interest. I’ll get to them after the Caps game today.


Sing to yourself in your crease – it’ll feel like you’re singing to the puck! – peace – mia



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