Alex Ovechkin is engaged to tennis star Maria Kirilenko, and she’s been credited with taming the Washington Capitals captain while also inspiring him.
She hopes her presence in the arena makes Ovechkin a better player in the ice, as she recently said in an interview via SovSport.
But if Ovechkin knows she’s there but can’t locate her seat … well, just make sure everything in the Capitals dressing room is nailed down.
From SovSport, a quick Q&A with Kirilenko:
Surely the first time you came to a hockey game was to root for Alex?
"Elena Dementieva invited me to come and told me that her husband Max Afinogenov was playing. She invited me to root for her husband."
Do you like hockey?
"I like hockey, when Sasha [Alex Ovechkin] is playing. But watching hockey just because it's not something [I like]..."
Could you describe the feeling when your amoure is on the ice? This is a special feeling for sure.
"Of course, especially when the game is tough, tense, when he is playing incredibly... Not long ago he scored a hat trick. You get up, applaud and are proud of him."
Have you noticed that he plays better when you are in the stands?
"I hope so, that he is feeling my support, that I am rooting for him. He always looks at me.
"Once we bought tickets not to where we usually sit. After the game, his shirt was a little dirty. He told me that he couldn't find me in the stands and smashed everything in the locker room. Coaches asked him what was wrong. He said that he couldn't find me and [his] dad. He was shown where we were sitting. And he calmed down and scored a hat trick," Kirilenko said in an interview to Dozhd television channel.
So it’s either three goals or a demolished locker room for Alex Ovechkin when Maria Kirilenko is in the building. Ah, such passion.