Originally written on Puck Drunk Love  |  Last updated 11/9/14
Washington_capitals_v_67b4

Once the bridesmaid, never the bride. That should be something that Washington Capitals goaltender Michal Neuvirth should be happy to shed this season. He's not exactly the #1 goaltender for sure yet, but to hear him talk he should have no problem capturing that spot now that Tomas Vokoun left the Washington Capitals to join the Pittsburgh Penguins... per Neuvirth's own advice.

Candor's a great thing for an athlete to have, and it's something we hockey fans often harp on players for not having enough of. "Show your personality!" we say. Maybe we need to amend it to "Show your personality but try not to come across like an idiot/pompous jerk/whatever." Neuvirth's candor while talking to iSport.cz might've gotten him in some hot water with Capitals fans and his co-goaltender and playoff hero Braden Holtby. From Russian Machine Never Breaks, who broke this story:

It’s true that until now, I have never been an official number one. But I have played just over a hundred games in NHL. That’s nothing. I’m starting the season sure that I want to play forty/fifty games and I am really sure that I have the weakest competition (Braden Holtby) I’ve ever had. I will try to be number one goalie this season. Finally!

Ow. Talk about not thinking how something sounds before you say it. Neuvirth's right, Holtby is the weakest competition he's had so far out of him, Varlamov, and Vokoun (and Neuvirth clarifies that statement later the same way that I just did). That doesn't mean he's someone Neuvirth's going to waltz right over and snag the starting job from. Heck, even the goal (40-50 games) isn't a starting job, it's one half of a 1A/1B tandem. But hey, aim high, kid. Just don't knock the other half of the tandem who has more playoff wins than you.

It gets better.

[I]t’s important to look at which players always were in tandem with me. At first – the Russian [Semyon Varlamov] who was always in front of me because he was drafted higher and played in the NHL sooner. It was hard to get in front of him. But in the end I played much more than he did. Last year, I had Voky (Tomáš Vokoun) next to me and I guessed in advance that he would probably get more space in the goal than I would. I came to camp ready, but it the end the season was as it was… I left it behind and I’m starting the new one ready to fight for my spot.

"the Russian." Way to learn teammates names or publicly air the fact that you might not've cared for him much. "Some dude who got more playing time just because he had more experience. Pfft. Whatevs." Just say that, Neuvirth. Say what you feel.

Also of note:

I was the one who advised him to leave for Pittsburgh. I know he had many offers from Russia [Editor's note: Vokoun had been rumored to be considering joining the reformed Lokomotiv team], but I told him not to go there especially. Just when I was at his place, a few teams contacted him and I told him to go with the Pens. He has a big chance to win the Stanley Cup there. Besides, they told [Pens goalie Marc-Andre Fleury] he will play less, because his last playoffs didn’t really work out as well.

"Psst. Hey, why don't you join the Capitals biggest rival next season. You'll probably have a better chance of winning the Stanley Cup there and hey, you won't be playing in the KHL." Interesting to note the bit about Fleury there. I would love to know on whose authority Neuvirth has it that the Pens coaching staff told Fleury that he'd play less because of the clusterfark he was in the playoffs.

You can't say that Neuvirth doesn't say what he thinks, though maybe that tendency was increased by the fact that he was speaking to non-North American press. Still, you can say what you want, just make sure that you use the right words to say it. You can have a personality without causing a stir.

The rest of the interview is bombshell stuff, so make sure you read the complete translation at RMNB for Neuvirth's thoughts on Alexanders Semin and Ovechkin.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Josh Smith released by Detroit Pistons in surprising move

13 amazing NFL stats from Week 16

JJ Watt's bloody face defines 2014 campaign

Dominic Raiola insists he didn't intentionally stomp opponent

Jets call themselves the best 3-12 team in NFL history

Cam Newton calls out 'classless' Panthers fans

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: 49ers to part ways with Harbaugh after season finale

Brad Stevens shoots down rumors he's headed to Hoosiers

Jameis Winston cleared in code of conduct case

Sherman: Patrick Peterson would be benched on Seahawks

Fans struck by lightning after Buccaneers-Packers game

Report: Philip Rivers playing through painful back injury

Game of the week: Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers

Yankees pay for education of slain officer's children

Breaking up the Brooklyn Nets

Brady: Edelman might be Pat's Most Dependable Player

Who can fight off the Golden State Warriors in the West?

NFL flexes Bengals-Steelers into 'Sunday Night Football' slot

Miami Dolphins electing to keep Joe Philbin a smart decision

Coughlin tells Beckham Jr to tone down TD celebrations

WATCH: Lynch ‘thanks the media for asking’ questions

10 takeaways from NFL Week 16

Tony Romo leads Dallas Cowboys to NFC East title

Ole Miss QB arrested after fighting, threatening bouncers

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Breaking up the Brooklyn Nets

13 amazing NFL stats from Week 16

JJ Watt's bloody face defines 2014 campaign

Jets claim to be best 3-12 team ever

10 takeaways from NFL Week 16

Cam Newton calls out 'classless' Panthers fans

Raiola stomps on Bears player's ankle

Bears interested in Jim Harbaugh?

Shanahan to return to 2015?

Browns interested in drafting Mariota?

Mullen wears funny Christmas sweater

RG3 returning to Redskins?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.