I got a soft spot in my heart for Olie, but it looks as though he may be on the outs. The guy that really gets the short end of the stick with Huet's arrival is Brent Johnson.
Huet To Start Tonight For Caps
Move Casts Doubt On Kolzig's Future
By Tarik El-Bashir
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 29, 2008; Page E01
For the past decade, in good and bad times, there's been one constant for the Washington Capitals: Olie Kolzig, the team's unquestioned No. 1 goaltender.
Kolzig's reign, however, could be ending.
Tonight, when the team resumes its pursuit of a playoff spot against the Eastern Conference-leading New Jersey Devils, Kolzig is expected to watch from the bench as Cristobal Huet makes his debut in net for the Capitals.
Coach Bruce Boudreau sidestepped a question about Kolzig's future with the organization after yesterday's practice. But the fact that Huet will oppose Devils goalie Martin Brodeur in such an important game raises serious questions about the Capitals' plans for Kolzig, who is coming off a strong 34-save effort in Tuesday's 4-1 victory over Minnesota.
"We traded for a number one goalie from Montreal," Boudreau said, "and now we have two number one goalies. [Kolzig] knows he's going to play. Cristobal Huet is not coming in here to play 18 games. Olie has been playing very good as of late. Chris will play [tonight], and we'll go from there."
What about tomorrow's game against Toronto?
"If Huet is unbelievable" against the Devils, Boudreau said, "we'll go with him on Saturday."
Yesterday, Huet, 32, joined his new teammates on the ice for the first time since being acquired for a second-round draft pick at the NHL's trade deadline Tuesday. Meantime, Kolzig, 37, manned the goal at the other end of the ice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, while backup Brent Johnson watched from the bench. Suddenly the odd man out in the Capitals' awkward situation, Johnson faced shots from assistant coaches and a handful of stragglers at the conclusion of practice.
All three goalies have measured their words carefully since Huet's unanticipated addition.
"They didn't bring him in here to sit on the bench," said Kolzig, who has been in goal for 22 of the Capitals' 29 victories this season. "It's an opportunity to get him in right away and we'll go from there."
Said Huet, Montreal's No. 1 goaltender for much of the past two seasons: "I'm just going to do whatever they ask me to do. I'm ready for anything, and I'm just going to prepare for" tonight's game.
Johnson said he won't travel to New Jersey and isn't sure how much, if any, playing time he can expect over the season's final six weeks.
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