Here are a few more quotes from Caps goaltender Olie Kolzig from our lunch meeting on Friday.
I asked him whether he could feel himself slowing down as an NHL netminder:
“Not really. Earlier in the season there were points when I was a little tired. I changed things around right before we played in Toronto [on Jan. 23] for the rest of the year. From that point on, I felt great. And you know what? Sometimes it just takes a little something like that to realize that you’re not 28 anymore, you’re 38. The more rest, the better. You don’t need pregame skates. You know how to stop the puck.
“Bouds likes to say, ‘Get a sweat, get an appetite, eat and get to sleep.’ It’s great for the young guys; it’s fine. But I’ve come to finally realize that it’s not great for me. Conserving my energy like that, just doing some stuff in the mornings like riding the bike and taking the cold bath I really found that my energy level excelled.
“We had that conversation that historically my numbers got better after the all-star break. I really think this year it is because I made that adjustment, whereas in the past maybe I didn’t need to make that adjustment; for whatever reason it just took off. This year, I attribute my game preparation as the reason [for that improvement].”
Kolzig mentioned that he would be tweaking his off-season workout program, and I asked him to elaborate.
“For me, I’ve always been a big guy. I’ve always been anywhere from 223 to 227 depending on training camp and what I’ve done in the summer. My goal this summer is to get down to 220, get rid of a little bit of extra weight of possible. I try and try and try, whether it’s dieting or cardio or whatever, but I’m a big-boned guy and it’s tough to get rid of those two or three extra pounds. I am really going to make a conscious effort.
“I’m even changing my training a little bit where instead of just getting in there and doing squats and core, I’m doing more of a cardio-style workout where I’ll do some sort of weight exercise and then get on the treadmill for a minute and a half. Do a core exercise, and get on the treadmill for a minute and a half. So you’re always constantly keeping your heart rate above a certain point so that you burn more calories and subsequently you lose more weight. I started on Monday and we’ll see where it takes us.
“Every year you have to make adjustments, depending on how the season went, how your body feels and how old you’re getting. This year is no different. I said last year that it’s becoming a grind in the summer. You have to work out twice as hard now as you did when you were 28 to maintain the same level. I’ve got three kids now and I’ve got some business interests.
“I get back in the summer to Tri-Cities for two and a half months and you’re getting torn in all these different directions; I’ve got a couple three charity events that I do. And so that commitment to the gym and getting ready for the season becomes a bigger burden, but it’s something that I’m still willing to do in order to one day hopefully raise the Cup. I’m going to try this regimen here for the next month and see where it takes me, and adjust accordingly. I’m going to try to get on the ice again right at the beginning of June three times a week. We’ll see where it goes.”
Finally, here’s a little more from Kolzig from when I asked about what type of situation he is seeking for next season. He mentioned wanting to play for a winner, and also discussed his current mindset a bit:
“Again, I don’t think there is a better situation than Washington. People probably don’t really understand what I’m going through. They’re looking at it like, ‘This guy has made money his whole career and now he’s pouting because they brought in another guy and now he’s leaving.’
“People really don’t understand. They don’t get it. This is the only place I’ve wanted to play. And now this might be the best team we’ve ever had in Washington in my 19 years. And for me all of a sudden to say I’m going somewhere else or I’m not coming back here and we’ll just see where the summer goes. People don’t understand how much that hurts. So for me it has to be a team that has a chance.”