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Neuvirth: Comments on Capitals translated wrong

by Mike Battaglino

Washington Capitals goalie Michal Neuvirth saw all the missed calls and text messages on his phone and thought he might have been traded.

Michal Neuvirth
Michal Neuvirth
Goalie - WSH
RECORD: 13-13-5
GAA: 2.82 | SVP: 0.903

"Maybe for one second," Neuvirth said. "It was crazy."

Instead, it was the reaction to an interview Neuvirth gave to a Czech media outlet that was translated to English -- and seemingly did not have complimentary things to say about his teammates, specifically goalie competition Braden Holtby and star Alexander Ovechkin.

Neuvirth told the Capitals website in a video released Friday that his comments weren't portrayed correctly.

"I just want to say there was some misunderstanding, they changed my meaning a lot," Neuvirth said. "I was talking about the boys in a good way and they didn't translate to the way they wanted. I feel like they have nothing to write about right now."

According to CSN Washington, a stateside fan blog translated Neuvirth's interview with In it he reportedly said, "Ovechkin 'isn’t what he used to be,' [and] Holtby is the 'weakest competition' he’s ever faced (for the No. 1 job) with the Capitals."

The Washington Times reported the translation included the quote, "I just hope that Ovi will stop falling and instead stops and maybe tries to get back on top."

"I talked to [Holtby] and [Ovechkin] and [Holtby] told me he didn't believe that for one second, because he's known me for four or five years and he knows I'm not like that," Neuvirth said in the video. "So, he made me very happy. …

"I felt very bad when I saw the interview in English, because it didn't sound like me at all."

Neuvirth said he got calls from teammates (specifically mentioning Matt Hendricks) giving him their support.

"The boys that called me and they believe … what they wrote, that wasn't what I meant," Neuvirth told interviewer Mike Vogel. "The boys made me happy; they believe [me]."

Neuvirth said he was unaware of the controversy his remarks caused until this week, when he was told of them and read them on the Internet.

"I couldn't believe that; I was in a big shock," he said. "I felt very bad; I had to talk to [Holtby] and I had to talk to [Ovechkin] and I had to explain to them what they saw wasn't what I said."

Neuvirth said he doesn't expect hard feelings when the Capitals open training camp. He and Holtby are expected to compete for the starting goaltender job.

"I'm glad it's getting back to normal, and I don't want to talk about it anymore," he said.

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