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Michal Neuvirth sounds off on Semin, Ovechkin, and Dale Hunter

Aug 21, 2012, 1:18 PM EDT

Michal Neuvirth Getty Images

Caps goalie Michal Neuvirth decided to spice up the offseason by speaking his mind on Alexander Semin, Alex Ovechkin, and Dale Hunter in an interview with a Czech website. Caps blog Russian Machine Never Breaks translated the story and boy did Neuvirth speak his mind.

On Semin:

“If Semin wanted to, he could have been the best player in the world, but he doesn’t want to every day. And that’s wrong.”

On Ovechkin:

“He isn’t what he used to be, that’s for sure. And if a team like ours wants to have a chance in Stanley Cup, we need Ovi to be the best. We all expect that from him; he has to be the real leader. But it’s hard you know, he achieved everything as a player. He was on absolute top, and then one can only fall down. I just hope that Ovi will stop falling and instead stops and maybe tries to get back on top.”

On Hunter:

“I don’t know, he simply didn’t talk to us goalies at all, I think he criticized us sometimes for no reason. From my point of view, it’s good he left.”

The stuff on Semin isn’t surprising since we’ve heard it already from Matt Bradley (and backed up by David Steckel). Getting an honest take like that on Ovechkin, however, should earn Neuvirth a few head-high slap shots in practice.

Neuvirth also said he’s looking forward to the Adam Oates era in Washington. Gee, I wouldn’t have guessed. Safe to say training camp, whenever that starts, should be interesting.

  1. phillyphan93 - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    BOOM! MacGruber!

  2. sjsharks66 - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    This dude sucks as a goalie. He is really not good. Why is he bad mouthing ovi, semin and hunter? Maybe if you could stop some more pucks you would have had a shot at a cup. It’s not ovi’s fault.

    There is a reason why this guy should and will be backing up Holtby.

    • jpelle82 - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:38 PM

      i would disagree, he is not a bad goalie…i wouldnt be surprised if he beat out holtby in camp. secondly, he can badmouth semin all he wants because semin was clearly “a” if not “the” problem in washington and he is no longer there. i dont think anyone liked hunter and he is right about ovechkin, ovechkin could have only fallen from the pedestal he was put on…maybe with semin gone he will step up again.

  3. jacketsfan7 - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    On neuvirth , I have no heart or soul , I just wanna complain all day long about my team when I’m the main reason why we lost all those games , welcome to your backup job neuvy

    • wethog66 - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:00 PM

      Your typical comment from a Jacket fan. Clueless and short on facts.

      • hockeyflow33 - Aug 21, 2012 at 6:14 PM

        I had no idea there were even fans in Columbus

  4. bojangles83 - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    Pretty accurate. Semin is a bum who plays when he wants too…Ovechkin isn’t a team player and is a very selfish player who has not won any “team” awards.

    Hunter on the other hand doesnt really seem like a people person.

    But telling that to the media, is another thing…..Im sure he’s gonna hear about it in the room next season.

    • lonespeed - Aug 22, 2012 at 10:28 AM

      Yea, true and sounding off to the media about it are two different things.

      It’s like freedom of speech. Just because you have the freedom to say it doesn’t mean you always should. Neuvarth can say whatever he wants but now that it is out in the open, it’s probably not best for the team.

      Oh well.

  5. capitalspearljam - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    this is being blown out of proportion, media making something out of nothing

    • jpelle82 - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:08 PM

      right, i dont have a problem with any of it and im sure the players dont either

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Aug 21, 2012 at 4:08 PM

      I agree, as a non-Caps fan reading this I’m really not seeing anything that inflammatory, at least in regards to what he’ll have to deal with on his own team. I’m pretty sure even Ovechkin would say he’s struggled in recent years and needs to find a way to get back on top.

      Pretty harmless quotes really.

      • stakex - Aug 21, 2012 at 5:19 PM

        Oh I’m sure Ovechkin would be the very first person to tell you he needs to play better.

        Still though, these are things you really shouldn’t be saying to the media. Even if no ones offended, you keep in in house.

    • bmoreredfury311 - Aug 21, 2012 at 5:34 PM

      Couldn’t agree more, half these people saying that Nuevy is whining and thinking that hes blaming Ovi or thinking that Ovi is not a team player is just plan wrong.
      First read the article and interview to get all the facts, please do not go off what PHT is cutting and pasting.
      Second Nuevy is a damn good goalie and actually should be the starting goalie in d.c, don’t get me wrong, we all saw how good Holtby can be/will be, but that kid needs to learn a lot more.And hopefully this season will be great learning process for him, if we have one. The 2010-11 post season Nuey, did the same as Holtby did this post season, he was the main reason the caps made it as far as they did. he kept the games for being even more of a blow out by Tampa. So who ever said he sucks, clearly hasn’t seen the guy play.
      Third, We get it, a lot of the team seemed to have issues’ with Hunter, but i think a lot of it is taken out of context. Hunter did his job and he stepped on some toes but he’s no longer with the team so people can stop talking about it already.
      Plus Nuey knows what he said and who was going to see/read it. Yes camp will have a lot of good in team competition and last i’d checked that’s a good thing, they’ll be giving it their all for a spot on the team, i personally want that. i want the best they have to offer.

      P.S. The players and the owners need to settle this crap, so i have hockey on Oct 12th to watch!!!

      • bmoreredfury311 - Aug 21, 2012 at 5:38 PM

        i do realize i miss spelled his before the haters make any comments

  6. kingfooj - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    This is the NHL and these are professional athletes, we’re talking about. They didnt get to that level thru sugarcoated opinions and caring about peoples sensitivities. The only way they got there was by improving on honest criticism. If your balls get rattled because youre too sensitive to handle an opinion that tells it how it is, then you shouldn’t be a pro. Judging by some of the comments above, its good that you guys arent

  7. lsxphotog - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    Even if you’re riding the pine this season…you don’t talk disrespectfully about your current captain. If you have a criticism, you still need to present it in a constructive way. Neuvirth will probably never be an NHL starter again…he had his chance…and he fell. Hopefully one day he’ll stop falling and try to be on top of his game again. 😉

    That being said, he’s accurate on Semin and Ovi. Semin always looked like he was inconvenienced by having to play hockey on that day…like he was just trying to get the game over with so he could get back to doing whatever it was that he did…I guess enjoy money. Everyone already knows about Ovi.

    • wethog66 - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:04 PM

      Guess you aren’t a Caps fan. Neuvy has never been given a straight forward chance to be the #1. Last year GMGM thought Vagkoun would take the Caps deep into the playoffs. And the year before GMGM was still wavering between Varley and Neuvy as the #1. I like the kid and it would appear he has a chip on his shoulder heading into camp, whenever that is. That means a spirited competition with Holtby for the #1 spot. Thats good news for the Caps and Caps fans.

      Neuvy is a 2 time Calder Cup winning goalie and was NHL rookie of the month 2 years ago. Not saying he is destined to be a HOF NHL goalie, but to suggest he is washed up and worth less than a bag of pucks is simply silly.

      • lsxphotog - Aug 21, 2012 at 5:56 PM

        Not a Caps fan, but a realist. Semin didn’t care. Ovi needs to step up his play/attitude and he’ll be back where he was before. Neuvirth wasn’t as good as Varlomov, wasn’t as good as Vokun, and isn’t as good as Holtby. Not that I don’t like him, but I haven’t been impressed by his play in what I’ve watched (which is a lot of games) and I honestly think the other goaltenders I mentioned are better than him RIGHT NOW. His comments like this, in my opinion, show he still isn’t on the maturity level he needs to be.

  8. scionofflame - Aug 21, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    He’s right on some of what he says, but I have problems with any player badmouthing the people they play with. The biggest problem I have is his comments about Holtby and where Hunter put him.

    “If only because Holtby was number one under him in playoffs.” – Yes, Neuvy. Because you weren’t playing -well-. I don’t think Neuvy could’ve done what Holtby did. There’s no guarantee on that, but Holtby had an unreal streak there and that might be the extent of his luck, who knows? But the guy deserves credit with what he did. 😛

  9. jacketsfan7 - Aug 21, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    Another reason why I like holtby more than neuvirth , now semin was lazy , but ovechkin and hunter were the heart and soul of the team

  10. dawglb - Aug 21, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    He is my favorite Cap now. I feel the same way about Ovie and Semin. Though, I respect Hunter.

  11. ray2013 - Aug 21, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    Statistically, Ovi was one of the top players in the NHL at one point. He wasn’t last year. Semin has oodles of talent but doesn’t try all the time. Hunter never talked to goalies, just criticized him. I fail to see how any of these comments are inflammatory. I guess he could have just gone with the bland hockeyspeak that 99% of the players use, but I don’t mind some mild critiques. I think people need to lighten up.

  12. capsrockva - Aug 21, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    I would agree with the comments on Semin, not as much on Ovi and I agree that in all likely hood he will start the season as the backup to Holtby

  13. mathieug79 - Aug 21, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    I dont get this?, how is that badmouthing Ovie? he spoke his mind, im sure Ovie knows his stats have been falling. But He never said anything bad about Ovie, just typical stuff, be a leader, get back to where you were, play harder, and bounces will come no way. Im sorry but i dont see anything that would prompt Ovie to Shot for his head in practice. Sounds like someone’s trying to make something out of nothing!

  14. csilojohnson - Aug 21, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    Didn’t seem like complaining or an excuse for losing last year. Sounded like an honest take on his teammates. Nothing we havnt heard about Ovi or Semin.

  15. rockthered1286 - Aug 21, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    Wow part time viewers in the DC area posting? Here’s the skinny: Neuvy and Varly came up around the same time. Where one flourished the other faltered. Varly was great at taking away any shot on the ice and had a killer ability to move side to side. Neuvy didn’t. Neuvy had a hell of a glove hand and was quick with the blocker. Varly was not. Made it easy for opposing teams: shoot high on Varly and low on Neuvy. So Varly goes and how can GMGM pass up Vokoun for dirt cheap? Caps fans praised him (don’t act like you didn’t) and turns out it was a poor move. But let’s not forget 2 key things here:
    1- Holtby has spent 2 years floating between Hershey and DC and has yet to have a bad start in net.
    2- Neuvy has proven himself injury prone in part time duty over the years in DC.

    So take those facts and add in Holtby’s playoff performance and there’s no doubt in my mind who is our starter this year.

    Also on the Ovi front, if you can honestly tell me a guy whose assists have drastically gone up over the past few years and switched to a defensive minded system while cutting back playing time without so much as a peep isn’t a team player then you’re clearly not paying attention…

    • wethog66 - Aug 22, 2012 at 2:28 PM

      It would seem you are the part time viewer in DC.

      Varley was the one that established an injury history. Last year was the first time I can remember Neuvy having an injury signficant enough to keep him out of a lot of games. And Holtby has shined in sporadic call up appearances with the Caps, but he hasn’t shined against inferior competition on the AHL level. The point is neither Neuvy or Holby have proven anything. Hopefully both competing against each other in training camp will push one to be a franchise NHL goalie the Caps desperately need right now.

      Also, I was never a fan of the Vagkoun signing. And my proof is on the caps board on the HF site. :)

  16. bmoreredfury311 - Aug 21, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    i like to thank you for that, I tried to sum that up earlier, but didn’t happen to come across, the way i envisioned it.
    i know we all have those d-bags fans from every team that think they know it all. but please check all the facts and read the true story, before you start jumping to conclusions.
    we all know the news is slow and the media always has to make something out of nothing…

    Neuvy, keep up the good work, if their is a season, these two, Neuvy and Holtby will be the in top 5 tandem’s this season. big things are a coming for them CAPS! believe it or not.

  17. sportmentary - Aug 21, 2012 at 10:28 PM

    I can’t say I disagree with him on Ovechloss but this guy should shut his piehole. It;s not like he was the best goalie in the NHL last year.

  18. rockthered1286 - Aug 21, 2012 at 11:06 PM

    Congrats @sportsmentary. Not only are you trolling and shamelessly self promoting on PHT which will result in an additional 1-2 hits on your article but you’ve also come up with most idiotic pseudo-name ever in “Ovechloss.” not even relatively creative. Try maybe… Ovech-can’t. Look that took me 2 seconds. Keep up the good work genius.

  19. dcandbmore - Aug 22, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    Look I just have a problem with what Neuvy said about Holtby, which isn’t mentioned in the article. I think what he meant was that this time he is the goalie with more expierence, when Varly and Vokoun were there he was always the underhand guy. But saying Holtby is his “weakest competition” is just inaccurate. I’d personally choose Holtby over Neuvy, but that’s just me.

    • wethog66 - Aug 22, 2012 at 2:32 PM

      Seems clear, to me at least, that the “weakest competition” is a classic “lost in translation” issue.

  20. andypoo38 - Aug 22, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    Regardless of whether or not any of these statements are true or not…YOU SIMPLY DO NOT make these types of comments to the press about your team mates…I will be very surprised If he is still a CAP for much longer.

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