O on the X

Almost as soon as we got off the plane in Toronto a few Sundays ago, Nate Ewell and I accompanied Caps goaltender Olie Kolzig to the XM satellite radio studios in Toronto so he could be the guest on a brand new XM hockey show.

Kolzig is featured in the first episode of Hockey Confidential, a new hour-long show that debuts on XM Radio’s NHL Home Ice (Channel 204) on Monday, Nov. 19, at 11 p.m. The show, which features Kolzig and host Scott Laughlin, will be re-aired seven times next week.

The complete schedule for Hockey Confidential with Olie Kolzig (all times Eastern):
Monday, Nov. 19 11 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 20 8 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 21 7 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 22 3 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 23 10 a.m.
Sunday, Nov. 24 2 a.m.
Sunday, Nov. 24 3 a.m.
Sunday, Nov. 24 6 p.m.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for XM listeners to connect with the stars of hockey, past and present,” said Joe Thistel, program director of NHL Home Ice, “and we couldn’t have picked a better subject and role model to kick off the Hockey Confidential series than Olaf Kolzig.”

Kolzig, the 37-year-old goaltender who is the longest-tenured player in Capitals history, taped the show in the XM studios in Toronto when the Capitals visited the city Oct. 28. He and Laughlin covered with Kolzig fielding questions from a studio audience.

Kolzig is the first guest on Hockey Confidential, a new show in the spirit of other XM shows like Artist Confidential and Baseball Confidential. It’s a terrific program, the format is strong and Laughlin is excellent at asking the right questions and moving things along. Caps and hockey fans alike won’t want to miss this one.

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24 Comments on “O on the X”

  1. Matt Says:

    Have to say it – I FINALLY got my white, Alex Ovechkin jersey from the Caps today. Its truly a thing of beauty. Wore it to the Blackhawks vs Blue Jackets got several people telling me that they loved the jersey and that AO was their favorite player.

    Fun stuff.

  2. TJ Says:

    this sucks for people who dont have xm….oh well.

  3. gusty161 Says:

    Is Scott Laughlin any relation to our Craig Laughlin?

  4. fauxrumors Says:

    1) Meanwhile this blog has been silent about the team its covering. The last meanigful post Novenber 5th(10 days) was that the Caps are losing due to poor shooting
    2) Since then we hear nothingn about:
    a) possible coaching shake up
    b) Eminger complaints in the press
    c)No updates on the injured players- Fehr, Semin, Clark
    Just fluff about father son combos, the HOF induction and a month old Kolzig interview

  5. Feesh Says:

    Faux – I have to wholeheartedly agree. I thought this was a current caps blog

  6. Mike L Says:

    F&F – This is Mike V’s personal blog, meaning he can write about whatever he wants to here. That he gives us some information about the Caps at any given time is his choice. I, for one, don’t mind if Mike doesn’t write about one thing or another, this is his space. If you want to read about rumors and such, there are a lot of places that have them.

    Mike, I liked the father/son piece, and certainly the analysis of the Caps shooting problems (and the fact that it is *still* going on..how many shots did the Lightning block last Saturday???)

  7. Chelle Says:

    I really like Mike’s blog, it gives us a little more than just the run of the mill “HOCKEY” blog.

    Thank you Mike for all you do and what you post for us on here. Keep it coming, I can’t wait to hear the show on XM.

  8. dumpnchase Says:

    My son has been sporting his Ovie home sweater (“system”) as well, to plenty of adoration and adulation.

    If we can get an .mpg of the show, we’ll post it on caps.com for all to hear.

    No relation to my knowledge.

    This blog doesn’t really “cover” any team. I cover the Caps for washingtoncaps.com, so there’s lots of coverage over there daily and has been all week, even when I was out of town for a couple of days in Toronto. Video feature on Brashear, long pieces on the induction of Scott Stevens and the honoring of Dave Fay at the Hall, two podcasts totally nearly two hours in length, sound bites from practice earlier this week (even though I myself wasn’t there to get them) and a preview of tonight’s game vs. FLA. As Mike mentioned, I write about whatever I want to write about here, usually hockey and usually the Caps, but not always.

    Possible coaching shakeup? News to me. Haven’t seen anything in the Times or Post or on TV about it either, so I’ll leave it to the rumor sites with questionable sources to throw pasta at the wall on that one.

    Eminger complaints in the press? Yes, there were. Though I wouldn’t call them complaints necessarily. If I had more to add, I would. He’s not playing, he’s not happy, I don’t blame him. Not much of a story there.

    Updates on the injured players were included in the podcasts and are in every game day preview as well.

    If you don’t like “fluff,” if the HOF inductions do nothing for you, if you feel the need to exaggerate 17 days into “a month,” seeya around and no hard feelings on this end. Lots of blogs out there that likely have what you feel is missing here, and this one doesn’t care much about making stories where none actually exist, trying to be all things to all people or piling up page views.

    Mike L,
    Thanks for the kind words. They had a dozen blocked and another 13 missed the net; 25 hit the mark. It’s a little better than it has been, but there’s still room for improvement.

    Thanks for the kind words. We’ll always do what we can when we can. The XM show is really good. Can’t wait for some of the future installments with other players.

  9. capitalpunishment Says:

    Is it possible Hanlon won’t be coach if they continue to lose more and more games this month?

  10. Mike L Says:

    You’re welcome Mike.

    As for the blocked shots. I had a high school coach who said there were three ways to stop opponents from blocking shots:

    1) Aim your shot so that the person blocking it gets hit where there’s little padding
    2) Make like you’re going to shoot and skate around or pass
    3) Don’t telegraph your shot

    He then would say that the order he mentioned these was from hardest to easiest, so start with not telegraphing. Jarri Kurri used to be able to score while not lookig at the puck or the net (someone on the Caps is pretty good at this too, that Ovechkin kid..) They look at a teammate and then fire the puck on net, knowing where the net is from the instant they turn their head away.

    The Caps have some guys on the point who can bring the puck hard (Jurcina certainly can, ditto for Pothier and Poti…Schultz might too, if he learns how to really get his body behind his shot). But when they to crank one up, Schults, Morrisson, Jurcina all are looking at the net and/or the puck once they wind up. Erskine just looks at the puck, nothing else. They’re very obvious in what they do. Poti does some lookasides, and I have a feeling he should do more of #2 on the list.

    No one really can do #1..when you’re letting a shot fly, you can’t pick where it hits someone.

    I think I’ve only seen two players that opponents deliberately let shoot and avoided blocking the shots: Al Iafrate and Al MacInnis. Maybe we need to convice Poti, Pothier, et. al. to change their first names to “Al”. 😉 (It’d be like the Devils who had that collection of Scotts earlier in the decade…)

  11. depressed caps fan Says:

    it looks like this horrible play is taking its toll on you as well vogel. youre postings are more few and far between, but i imagine its hard to make water out of wine. always enjoy reading but i completely understand the (percieved) apathy towards the caps. as always you have your finger on the pulse of caps nation. lets hope they can win a game this month!

  12. Janet Says:

    I just read the Washington Post story featuring Eminger’s comments. Is it not somewhat unprofessional for Steve Eminger to be talking to the press like that? I think team loyalty is standing behind your coach and organization. There is no substitute for getting out on the ice and showing the coach how hard you are prepared to work. If he just got off IR he maybe has unrealisitc expectations about being in the line up when the Caps are blessed with some defensive talent.

    Every game we hope for more scoring, but as painful as it is to me I just watch as my 10 year old hockey crazed son turns off COMCAST and goes to the NHL Center Ice channels in the hope that he can catch young Pat Kane, Sidney or a Detroit Redwing score a goal!

    Eminger mouthing off like that just seems to me something that needs to be stopped with a deliberate benching because when people start talking like that they are breaking up the unity of the organization.

    I too enjoy Mike’s non Caps hockey talk. Carry on!

  13. Janet Says:


    Here is an after thought question to you after my little rampage on Eminger.
    I guess we are two seasons post the new NHL rules which got rid of clutching grabbing, interference plays that slowed up the forwards from getting to the net. What has happened to all the goals we were promised and certainly saw in the first season of implementation.? Are other teams still scoring at a greater rate than 04-05 season..or is it just the Caps? Have teams adjusted with faster more mobile defensemen and the scoring equalized.

    The Caps have no agile 5ft10 or 5ft 11 forwards. Is that a problem for the Caps? Are our forwards too big and slow?

    I guess I would like to read some sort of analyis of what the NHL looks like now on this. If there is an editorial out there somewhere in hockey cyberspace that you know of I would love to read if you could point me in the right direction..or maybe its an idea for a story.

  14. dumpnchase Says:

    I was out of town for a few days for the Hall induction, and the Caps were off for five days. Since I wasn’t here to go to practice and I’m not traveling with the team, I didn’t write anything mostly because there wasn’t anything compelling to write about. And, as I mentioned in another comment y-day, there has been a ton of coverage on caps.com as always, which is where most of my writings are. Also, my wife is out of town for business of her own, so I’m the single parent now. So it’s not the horrible play that’s taking its toll on me, just the intrusion of real life.

    I myself won’t fault Eminger for talking to the press. Free country, and he’s as entitled as anyone to speak his mind. If the team chooses not to, that’s its right as well. And besides, I don’t blame the guy for being frustrated, and I’d be more worried about him if he wasn’t frustrated.

    As to what happened to the increase in scoring, it’s called “coaching.” Guys like Jacques Martin and others are sucking the life out of the game. It never seems to take long for these guys to adjust to changes in the rules.

    If you have the NHL network, watch some of the “Vintage Games” from the 1970s and especially the 1980s. Teams are trapping again and they’re doing so successfully, red line or no red line. Last night’s game was a prime example.

    As to the Caps specifically, to me they’re getting scoring chances but they’re not getting second chances and dirty goals. A few bounces wouldn’t hurt either.

    Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe wrote a very eloquent piece on the erosion of the game a month or so ago, but it’s not on the site any longer. For my money, he is the premier U.S. hockey journalist of our times. His Sunday column is always full of not-to-be-missed musings.

    A few things the league could do to improve scoring: Make penalties the full two minutes, regardless of if or how many goals the other team scores. This used to be the rule, but the vaunted Canadiens’ power play units of the mid-1950s prompted a change. Also, as Dupont has suggested, stop allowing penalized teams to ice the puck. They’re being PENALIZED, so why make it easy on them for those two minutes? If they ice it, there’s a face-off in their end and they can’t change personnel while the other team can. Same as when teams are 5-on-5.

    I’d much rather see changes like these than changes to the size of the nets.

  15. capitalpunishment Says:

    Spin this loss.

  16. Jac Says:

    No one in the Caps organization ever talks about the mediocre goal tending. Is it in everyone’s contract that they must not only be complimenting of the goaltending but pretend stupidity that it is THE WEAKEST spot on the team? This team is no longer weak and has promise, if they can get decent, not 2nd -3d fantasy league goaltending. Used to be ‘no one can stop 35+ shots per game’ now the shots are down and they still can’t be stopped. I think the entire rest of the team could play ‘their game’ if they knew that if the puck got past them, they had a better than 50-50 shot the goalie would stop it. Olie has no side to side, no recovery after a first shot has been made and the biggest 5 hole in the league. He might be a great person and a good face for the Caps but is he good for the team when it’s on the ice? Apparently not, FOR YEARS, someone should take a look at the biggest problem. Johnson is not the answer, Bring in the rookie, at least I could understand losing if the caps were building with him if he has that talent. Before the lockout, the Caps sold off all the talent and kept Witt and Kolzig. That should tell Caps fans what it told everyone else in the league. No one here is serious about winning, let alone getting to the playoffs. Why should Ovie stay? Isn’t every hockey player’s ultimate goal to win the Cup? 6-12-1. When did hockey stop being fun to watch? Oh wait, VS is still good hockey. A Bruins/Sabres game I saw in Boston last week was a demonstration of superb goal tending. The players had to work for goals and be creative. Otherwise, it wasn’t getting past Miller or Thomas. Maybe the ultimate goal of this season is to win the draft lottery. I thought Mr. Ted said something else before the season started.

  17. trevor Says:


    How long can we continue to lose with poor performances night in and night out without someone doing something with the front office or on the bench. If this type of perpetual mediocracy were to come in a hockey town, say Detroit or Montreal, they sure as hell wouldn’t be sitting around not trying to shake things up. Hell, look at Atlanta: They fired a Stanley Cup winning coach after going 0-6 and they are now 9-4 since then. If I’m not mistaken, they did this WITH some injuries (including their starting goalie for pete’s sake!). Looks like there is a pattern between NO excuses and winning and another pattern between EXCUSES and losing.

  18. Zeebo Says:


    Was this the Dupont piece you referenced? Good read.



  19. dumpnchase Says:

    I don’t think the goaltending is nearly as much of a problem as the lack of scoring, the lack of consistency from night to night, and the utter lack of consistency on special teams. Most nights, Olie and Johnny have given the Caps a chance to win and that’s what you want. But when you score more than three goals only three times in 19 games, you’re not going to win many games.

    I honestly don’t know. Some nights, they play well enough to win and still lose, but losses are losses and they’re piling up like the mail does when you go on vacation. I think they’ll see what they’ve got with Semin back in the lineup and a heavy stretch of schedule over the next two weeks. Beyond that, it’s anybody’s guess. Used to be you could shake up a slow starting team with a well-engineered November trade, but those days appear to be over.

    Actually, that’s not it. But as you say, good read. All Dupont’s stuff if. As I recall, the piece I was referring to was written in early- to mid-September.

  20. Jac Says:

    Olie’s last 5 games per the Caps website

    2 Nov .897 26/29 saves (Philadelphia) 3 Goals against
    5 Nov .792 19/24 saves (Carolina) 5 goals against and pulled (Finally)
    8 Nov .964 27/28 saves (Ottawa) 1 goal against and a win, outstanding job.
    but were there any hard to save shots in this game?
    10 Nov .879 29/33 (Tampa Bay) 4 goals against.
    15 Nov .920 23/25 (Florida) 2 goals against. I can live with this one but .920 is not likely to get anyone in the playoffs, neither is a goalie rated in the bottom few of 30.

    If that isn’t inconsistency, what is? How many HARD, difficult to stop, shots does Olie see? The defense isn’t the greatest in the league, but Olie is not seeing the hard shots that the Caps are laying on other goaltenders. End of last season either Reekie or Laughlin said with the rebuilding it was time to bring in a new goalie. The Rangers game, Laughlin commented it should’ve been 2-1 Caps, not 2-1 Rangers. How many times do the announcers say, “There’s one Olie would like to have back?”

    Everyone can LOVE Kolzig off the ice but if you love what he is doing on the ice then you’re easily satisfied. How many other coaches/teams/fans would accept that sort of performance?

    How many saves has Ovechkin made ‘in goal’ this year, including the last shot in Kolzig’s shut out? I don’t think we want him using his hands to stop pucks at the goal.

    Enough said, if you REALLY think the goaltenders are keeping the Caps in the game, I’m wasting my time anyway.

  21. capitalpunishment Says:

    You probably mistakenly overlooked my question before, but is it possible or even any way likely Hanlon will be removed as the head coach of the Washington Capitals if they continue to lose more and more games this month, effectively ending our season before we ever really got started?

  22. Fashi13 Says:

    Mike, I’d love to get your thoughts on this, I’ve been watching a lot of the NHL network, and catching a lot of the vintage games from the past. What is catching my eye yet again is the increase in size of the goalie equipment, it’s crazy. For example, I was watching the Habs/Nordique playoff series from 1993, Patrick Roy was in net for the Habs and I was amazed how much net there was to shoot at, he had to actually make saves on the straight on shots, not just butterfly and let the puck hit him. To me, it is the common sense place to start when talking about increasing scoring. I know the goalies will be pissed, so I also think we should throw them a bone and actually protect them from being run over, and strictly call the goalie interference I see in every game.
    The size increase in the pads of the past 10-15 years has little to do with safety so I don’t think that is an argument for the bigger pads. Is there something I’m missing regarding this issue? Because it seems like common sense to me. Thanks.

    On a side note, that quebec team of 93 had some great players and was fun to watch.

  23. dumpnchase Says:

    Didn’t see any “question” from you earlier. Is it possble that Hanlon will be removed as coach if the team loses more games this month? Sure, It’s possible. It’s also possible that he would remain as the head coach for this season and beyond. I don’t have any inside info here, no more than anyone else does.

    I’m with you all the way on that. Totally agree that the goaltending equipment is out of hand, but also believe that goalies get run more now than they did a few years back. And yeah, that Quebec team was a fun one, only a few years removed from winning the Cup.

  24. dumpnchase Says:

    We’re going to have to agree to disagree. Neither of the two Cup finalist goalies was as good as .920 last season, and what about teams like Tampa and Toronto who would be in playoff positions if the season ended today despite save pcts. around .890? The Caps certainly don’t have the best goaltending in the league, but goaltending is way down on the list of Reasons Why This Team is 6-12-1.

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