Monday, February 12, 2007

Kolzig Injured In Practice, Out At Least Three Weeks

The Post's Tarik El-Bashir is reporting that Olie Kolzig hurt his knee in practice today. General Manager George McPhee said Kolzig would be out at least three weeks but at the moment it does not look like he will need surgery.

For a team that needs every point it can get, this is not good. The Caps have called up Frederic Cassivi from Hershey, but Olie's backup, Brent Johnson, is expected to see a bulk of the goaltending time in Kolzig's absence.

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Johnson is an unimpressive 4-7-3 this season with an .885 save percentage and a 3.86 goals against average. Late last year, however, he performed admirably with semi-regular playing time from mid-March to the end of the season. In his last seven starts of the 2005-2006 campaign he went 4-2-1 with a 1.96 GAA.

I know a lot of people have written off Cassivi as a career-AHLer, but I'd like to see him get some playing time in the next three weeks. He's had plenty of success in 10+ seasons in the AHL, but he's never really had a shot at the big time. He's only played 9 NHL games (8 with the Thrashers -- 6 in 2001-2002 and 2 in 2002-2003 -- and 1 with the Caps last season) and they haven't exactly been stellar ... or even close (3.93 GAA, .892 SV%). But maybe he's a guy who, with a few starts to adjust to the faster NHL competition, could become at least a decent stop-gap if it takes longer than expected for Caps goalie prospects Maxime Daigneault and Semen Varlamov to prove themselves in the AHL.

And no, I'm not kidding about Varlamov's first name.

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