After Mike Green, Alex Ovechkin, and Nicklas Backstrom scored to lead the Capitals to a 3-2 victory during Game 4 of their second round playoff series against New York, a reporter brought up the “Young Guns” nickname to Green in the locker room.
Green smirked and responded,”Young Guns? [We’re] not so young anymore.”
This shift is especially apparent for Alex Ovechkin, and the only way to perfectly illustrate it is with photos and GIF’s. Lots and lots of GIF’s.
Back when the Caps would have stunning regular seasons and then crash’n’burn in the playoffs, Ovechkin would cut loose in the summer, doing things that would even make Andrew W.K. blush. Michael Idov of GQ penned a feature story on Ovechkin after he spent a few days with the Russian machine in Moscow during his break. Through that article, we learned what telochki was, the proper times to yell “Boom!” at the opposite sex, and the best ways to keep two girls entertained while ice skating.
Since then, each summer of Ovechkin’s has gotten tamer and tamer. The summer of 2012 has been the mellowest — and cutest — of all. Ovechkin’s girlfriend, tennis star Maria Kirilenko, is a big reason why. Ovi has been spending every waking moment with Maria. The only time Ovechkin’s been away from her has been to celebrate his gold medal in Moscow, and to attend the NHLPA’s CBA meetings in Chicago.
Ovi’s even been doing those chivalrous boyfriend things you read in books where Fabio is shirtless on the cover.
First, let’s take you to the UNICEF Open where we find the cute couple (portmanteau: Ovechko) on a practice court in the Neatherlands. As Kirilenko does her thing, Ovechkin sits in a chair nearby and pays very close attention. Then, at the end, he does something remarkable.
Ovi’s here to support you, Maria.
He is very interested in what you are doing, and also the spandex outfit you are wearing.
He carries her bags and rackets like a gentleman!
…but, he’s still Ovechkin.
Next, we find Ovechko at Wimbledon. TV cameras found Ovi on the sidelines rooting hard for Maria. However, in the quarterfinals, where Kirilenko sadly ended up losing to Agnieszka Radwanska, Ovechkin’s cheering was a spectacle in itself.
Above GIFs by welshhockeyfan.tumblr.com.
Andddddd sealed with a kiss. (GIFs by badasskiri.tumblr.com)
Our little boy is growing up.