Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin thriving while pulling double-duty as team’s star, face of a nation

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Ovechkin responded with a Hart Trophy campaign during last year’s lockout-shortened season despite a 7-11-1 start that threatened to end the Caps’ string of Stanley Cup playoff seasons. With just eight goals in the first 19 games, Ovechkin caught fire and helped rally Washington to a Southeast Division title and another playoff berth.

Add in this season’s goal-scoring brilliance and Ovechkin appears to be back to his old self – but this time with one of the defining moments of his career looming. Just this month there have been one-on-one interviews with non-hockey outlets like NBC’s Today Show, the BBC World News, NPR and Reuters, among others. The attention is reaching a critical mass. Ovechkin, in the prime of his career, is stoic in the face of it.

“I feel pretty good,” Ovechkin said. “That’s all that matters.”

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