WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - He's already one of the greatest hockey players to live, a shoe-in for the NHL Hall of Fame if he retired now, but at the age of 33, Washington Capitals’ superstar Alex Ovechkin is having his best year ever.
If you thought Ovechkin would relax after finally winning a Stanley Cup, you were wrong. Instead, winning inspired him to play harder, to play as a champion, and to not take any game, any win or any point for granted.
“Every point is going to count because you want to be in the playoffs, you want to feel that atmosphere, you want to feel that pressure and if you don't push yourself right now it may be too late to push yourself at the end,” Ovechkin told FOX 5’s Steve Chenevey during an exclusive interview.
Ovechkin is already one of DC's greatest athletes and he’s always had a soft spot for the city and its sports fans.
“It's been great since day one. It's grown big time,” Ovechkin said. “It's nice to see the town changing and most important kids are getting involved with it.”
When Ovechkin was a child, he loved watching the greats like Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky, but he couldn't watch them in Russia without an old-school VCR.
“You couldn't see the TV, there wasn't internet, you just learned teams through the newspaper and my dad bought me videotapes and I watched the highlights,” Ovechkin explained. “You follow your dream anything can happen. My dream was to come here, but I never felt like I'd be in this position.”
After celebrating his Stanley Cup victory, Ovechkin then celebrated fatherhood with the birth of his baby boy Sergei, who is named after Ovechkin’s late brother. Ovechkin said he looks forward to spending his first Christmas with Sergei.
“It's going to be fun,” he said. “He's getting big and it's going to be fun to spend time with him.”
While fatherhood may have changed Ovechkin as a man, he said it hasn’t changed the way he plays the game.
“It's changed my life, but I think on the ice I'm still the same,” Ovechkin said.
In the video player above, watch Alex Ovechkin’s exclusive interview with FOX 5’s Steve Chenevey.