It’s taken a while for the average hockey fan to warm up to Alex Ovechkin.
He’s been loved in Washington since he joined in the Capitals in 2005, but I get the sense it’s been a slow build across the continent.
He has been wrongly discriminated against by some for being Russian.
Some of his early career celebrations, such as the hot stick routine, have rubbed fans the wrong way.
Some raised an eyebrow when he said he was going to play for Russia in the South Korea Olympics even if NHL players didn’t go.
During these 2018 playoffs he looks like a different player.
A Stanley Cup championship is motivating Ovechkin to the point where he has 22
points in 19 playoff games.
Ovechkin has won seven league scoring titles, three Hart Trophies and three Ted Lindsay awards.
Finally, 13 years after joining the NHL, he is finally winning over the fans who didn’t always cheer for him.