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.
“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.”
“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.”
“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.