Russian forward Alex Ovechkin is a week away from arriving at a cauldron already bubbling on his native soil, where the opportunity for a career-defining moment is waiting near a resort city on the coast of the Black Sea.
Canada's Sidney Crosby vividly remembers what that felt like four years ago when the sports world turned its collective eye to the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and a hockey-mad nation looked to No. 87 and his teammates for validation.
"In some ways you have to embrace it," Crosby told NHL.com. "You want to win so bad and you know the expectation is exactly that. You have to remind yourself that that's why you're a hockey player, you want to be in those situations because everyone does care that much and they are so passionate about it.