Peter said it best a few weeks ago. RMNB has zero interest in covering the actual lockout. “Financial negotiations (and their public face) are all about posturing, tedium, and equivocation,” he said. “Whereas our principal interest in hockey has always been scoar, moar, and goals.” We have gone to great lengths to cover hockey and try to make things fun as possible while patiently waiting for the NHL to end the madness.

But now that Washington Capitals players are bickering with each other through the media, we feel compelled.

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Michal Neuvirth is Losing Hope for an NHL Season

2 weeks brake?!?! U gotta be kidding me.. Losing hope!!

Michal has since deleted the tweet. I’d make some crack about “brake”, but I don’t want to set up any “lost in translation” jokes for you.

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Photo credit: Kyle Mace of Sweetest Hockey on Earth

Because I’m an optimist, let’s say there’s an NHL season this year. As soon as the new collective bargaining agreement is signed, sealed, and delivered, the Washington Capitals goaltenders will debut shiny new masks. Michal Neuvirth, who has been playing with Sparta Praha of the Czech Extraliga, has been wearing a new mask featuring former Capitals great/current goaltending coach, Olie Kolzig, on its side.

I spoke with Braden Holtby on Saturday about his thoughts on Neuvirth’s new bucket. After I showed him the mask on my iPad, Holtby chuckled and flashed a big smile in approval. “Olie’s done a ton for the organization,” Holtby said, “so that’s pretty cool.”

Not to be outdone, Holtby has been wearing his own new mask playing with Bears. Unlike last season, where his helmet featured a split Bears/Capitals theme (and oh yeah don’t forget that awesome bear on a rollercoaster), Holtby’s new headgear is ALL CAPS (get it?).

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“Watching Ovie in Prague!” (Photo credit: @mneuvirth30)

Dynamo Moscow traveled to Prague Tuesday to take on HC Lev Praha and if Alex Ovechkin took a peak at the crowd near his defending goal, he would see a familiar face. Washington Capitals goaltender Michal Neuvirth, who’s currently playing for Sparta Praha of the Czech Extraliga league, got tickets for the game to cheer Ovi on.

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Michal Neuvirth and his New Mask Debut With Sparta Praha

Neuvy’s bio photo for Sparta Praha.

On Tuesday, Washington Capitals goaltender Michal Neuvirth and his awesome new mask made their debut with Sparta Praha of the Czech Extraliga. Neuvirth, a Sparta alum, never played for the major league team before, but did spend time with their junior affiliates before coming over to the North America to play junior hockey with the Plymouth Whalers as a teenager.

Unfortunately, Neuvirth and his Sparta Praha teammates lost to Ceske Budejovice (say that three times fast) 3-2. Neuvy had 34 saves (a respectable .917 save percentage) and a few spectacular stops.

We actually found highlights of the game! You can check them out below the jump. Neuvirth wears #40 and is the guy wearing the Capitals colored goalie pads.

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Photo credit: DaveArt.com

On Tuesday, Michal Neuvirth completed a deal to play for his former team HC Sparta Praha of the Czech Extraliga during the NHL lockout. Well, now he has some new goalie gear to work in too.

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This is not a hockey story.

Last week RMNB published a two-part translation of an interview Michal Neuvirth gave to the Czech site iSport. Our articles contained translated, controversial quotes about Braden Holtby, Alex Semin, Alex Ovechkin, and Dale Hunter.

The story was picked up by Puck Daddy and The Washington Post, among others. Some of the articles that used our quotes excluded important passages where Neuvirth praised Holtby and Ovechkin, leading to a popular characterization of the interview that I don’t think matched what we published. On the other hand, an article for Sportsnet.ca by Chris Nichols copied our entire translation.

Before long, our translation came under scrutiny. To respond to questions from our audience, I wrote and published a note on our translation process and how much room for interpretation there is in that process, but we did not retract or correct our post. Social media and our own commenters wondered aloud if our articles had mistranslated the original article or if something had been “lost in translation.”

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Michal Neuvirth Reacts to iSport Story and Translation

Photo credit: Greg Fiume

Michal Neuvirth stopped by Kettler today to speak with Caps senior writer Mike Vogel. Neuvy took time to address the recent comments he made to František Suchan of iSportz.Cz, that we translated in two articles earlier this week [I and II].

You can check out the interview below the jump.

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RMNB recently published two articles  [I and II] translating an interview Michal Neuvirth gave to František Suchan of iSportz.Cz. The original interview was conducted in Czech and translated by Kara Martinková with proofreading and edits by our team. While we stand by the articles we published, we acknowledge that translation is as much an art as it is an academic skill. Interpretations of syntax, grammar, and idiom always threaten to transform the intent of a statement, and some of Neuvirth’s meaning may have been misconstrued.

For example, we translated Neuvirth as saying the following:

I am really sure that I have the weakest competition (Braden Holtby) I’ve ever had.

But choosing competition as an apposition for Braden Holtby is subjective. Neuvirth might have intended for competition to mean competition-as-a-thing, not as a person. Given that interpretation, Neuvirth may simply have been saying this season is the best opportunity he’s ever had to earn the number-one goalie spot.

The underlying meaning of the two statements is nearly the same, but the tone is dramatically different.

The context of the article might support that interpetation too. Later in the interview, Neuvirth responds to a question about Holtby by first saying that he is a great goalie, albeit one with less experience than Varlamov and Vokoun. Using the alternate translation above and taking into account his later comment about Holtby, Neuvirth’s statements are not so incendiary.

This same interpretative gap can apply to other parts of the interview as well. Where Neuvirth describes himself as “angry” at not starting in the playoffs, the words down or unhappy might also have been used.

The vagaries of language are challenging, and there are many possibilities to lose the intent and tone of the original statement on its path from conversation to original article to translation. We hope our readers can grant a healthy amount of leniency to Neuvirth and our translators.

Photo credit: Joel Auerbach

When we last left Caps goalie Michal Neuvirth, he was calling Braden Holtby his weakest competition and patting himself on the back for convincing Tomas Vokoun to go to Pittsburgh. That was just the warm-up.

In the remainder of Neuvirth’s interview with František Suchan of iSportz.Cz, the Czech goalie shares his honest opinion of pretty much every other big-name Capitals figure. He gives Alex Semin the classic “he could have been the best player in the world, but he doesn’t want to” line; he laments Alex Ovechkin‘s decline but praises his leadership; and he sheds no tears over the exit of Dale Hunter.

Hoo boy, here comes some tawdry stuff.

UPDATE: Read our statement on interpretation and translation.

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