Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork. Ray Allen Jersey .com) - Its no surprise people wondered how Barry Trotz would get along with Alex Ovechkin. To say Ovechkin is at the center of the storm for the Washington Capitals would be putting it too lightly. The superstar winger has become so utterly synonymous with the only NHL franchise hes ever known that everything the Caps do is quickly related back to Ovechkin. So when Trotz was hired last spring as Washingtons new head coach, the talk of the town was how would the defensive-minded bench boss mesh with the uber- talented but undisciplined Ovechkin. While there have been growing pains for both Ovechkin and the Caps as a whole under Trotz, Thursdays thrilling Winter Classic victory over the Chicago Blackhawks may have been Washingtons coming out party for the hockey world at large. With nearly 43,000 fans in attendance at Nationals Park, the Caps recorded a 3-2 win over the visiting Blackhawks thanks to Troy Brouwers game-winning power-play goal with 12.9 seconds left in regulation. Ovechkin was awarded an assist on Brouwers big goal and also scored earlier in the game. The two-point performance gives Ovechkin 18 goals and 14 assists in 37 games under Trotz. That level of production is not quite up to the standards set by the three-time Hart Trophy winner, but more importantly, Ovi and his team are trending upward in terms of wins and losses. Washington got off to a mediocre 10-10-4 start under Trotz, but the club has really gained traction over the last several weeks. The New Years Day win over Chicago gives the Caps a 9-1-3 mark over their last 13 games, and the latest victory allowed Washington to leap over the New York Rangers for the third and final automatic playoff berth in the Metropolitan Division. While previous Capitals coaches like Bruce Boudreau, Dale Hunter and Adam Oates would at times publicly call Ovechkin out for his lack of discipline, Trotz is seemingly adheres to the old saying if you cant find anything nice to say, dont say anything at all. The former longtime Nashville Predators coach instead has been singing the praises of Ovechkin to anyone who will listen, and for good reason. Although Ovi is not producing at his normal point-per-game pace, his overall game has seemed to thrive under Trotz. Last season, Ovi had a dreadful minus-35 rating in 78 games. This season he is sporting a plus-eight through 37 tilts. Even if you think plus/minus is a useless stat (which most of the times it is) that kind of turnaround simply cant be dismissed or ignored. After the victory over the Blackhawks on the outdoor stage, Trotz offered a full-throated endorsement of his star player and seemed to say the criticism of Ovi over the years has not been fair. A lot of people want to tear him apart, but how many superstars have scored as many goals, how many superstars put people in the seats, how many superstars play as physical as Alex Ovechkin? Theres not very many, Trotz said. And thats what makes him unique. Of course, people will continue to knock Ovechkin until he leads a team to a Stanley Cup title. But at the moment, with Trotz as his biggest fan, things are certainly looking up in D.C. CLASSIC TV RATINGS HIT ALL-TIME LOW On paper, it seemed like this years Winter Classic was a marquee matchup. On one side you had a household name like Ovechkin, and on the other was the Chicago Blackhawks, a team with several recognizable faces thanks to a pair of recent Stanley Cups championships. However, early reports of the television ratings for the NBC broadcast tell a different story as Thursdays game was the lowest-rated Winter Classic since the New Years tradition began at Buffalos Ralph Wilson Stadium in 2008. The Blackhawks-Caps pulled an overnight rating of 2.3, well below the 2.9 rating that last seasons clash between Detroit and Toronto at Michigan Stadium. The previous low was a 2.4 rating for the 2012 Winter Classic between the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers, but that matchup at Citizens Bank Park in Philly may have been hurt by the fact that it was played on Jan. 2 instead of New Years Day. Perhaps, the location hurt the Classic, as Nationals Park is a newer stadium without the cache of places like The Big House, Fenway Park and Wrigley Field. Also, this was the first time the Winter Classic didnt have the documentary series 24/7 on HBO to build up excitement over the weeks leading into the game. There was a similar program called Road To The Winter Classic that aired on EPIX, a channel that simply cant compete with the high profile offered by a place on HBOs airwaves. The NHL should hope that either of those two reasons led to the low ratings this time because the alternative may be the outdoor game is simply losing its luster. That would hardly be a surprise considering the 2013-14 season saturated the market with six outdoor games. There will be another opportunity to gauge the interest in outdoor games on Feb. 21 when the San Jose Sharks welcome the Los Angeles Kings to Levis Stadium in Santa Clara, California. Custom Milwaukee Bucks Jerseys . Horford is out 3-to-4 months with a torn pectoral muscle for the Hawks, who have won two straight and five of six games. Atlanta improved to 2-0 on the residency with Saturdays 93-91 triumph over Minnesota, as Ivan Johnson scored his teams final four points, including the game-winning free throw with 4. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Bucks Jersey . Tottenham claimed top spot in Group K by winning 2-0 at Tromso after defender Adnan Causevic scored an own goal before Mousa Dembele put the result beyond doubt. Valencia made sure it will finish first in Group A with a 1-0 win at Swansea thanks to an early goal from Dani Parejo. https://www.bucksrookiesshop.com/Pau-Gasol-City-Edition-Jersey/ . Justine finished first with a score of 22.44 while Chloe was second with 21.66 points. Defending champion Hannah Kearney of the U.S., was third at 21.49. A third Dufour-Lapointe sister, Maxime, failed to make the final group and finished 12th while Audrey Robichaud of Quebec City was 10th.England will face Australia in the Cup quarter-final of the Hong Kong Sevens after finishing day two top of their pool following a win over Scotland and a draw with Russia. England followed up yesterdays 21-14 victory over South Africa with a 19-0 win over Scotland thanks to tries from Richard De Carpentier and two from Dan Norton.Nortons second try took him past the 1,000 point mark in the HSBC World Sevens Series - a magnificent milestone for the flyer. However, England found the going tough against a physical Russia side and had to settle for a draw when Simplikevich scored near the end. Englands tries came from Tom Bowen and Cameron Cowell in the second half.The result meant England finished top of Pool B and will now play Australia (5.04am BST) in the quarter-final, live on Sky Sports 2 HD.In the other quarter-finals defending champions Fiji take on Kenya, New Zealand will play Wales and USA play South Africa. Savenaca Rawaca runs away to score for Fiji Saracens-bound flyer Savenaca Rawaca starred on Saturday as defending champions Fiji looked the team to beat at the Hong Kong Sevens, tthe unofficial dress rehearsal for the Rio Olympics. Luke Maye Bucks Jersey. Rawaca scored a dazzling opener in Fijis 36-10 win over Wales and crossed again in the second half as the world series title-holders set up a quarter-final against Kenya.Fiji coach Ben Ryan was encouraged after his team, who are bidding to win their countrys first ever Olympic gold in August, improved from Fridays 19-17 scare against Canada. Were still probably not absolutely firing, I think defensively well go up a notch tomorrow. But after what was a very tough game last night its good to come through unscathed, said Ryan.The former England coach added that the form of Rawaca, who will join Saracens next season, underlined the quality now on show in the sevens world series.Hes hit form. Weve given him hard work in training. Hes 108kg and thats a lot of muscle to throw around for 14 minutes and we ask him to play for 14 minutes most of the time as well, Ryan said. But he is playing well. Hes very hard to stop... Save will play World Cup 2019 for Fiji, hell stand out for Saracens. Gone are the days where these (sevens) guys are seen as junior rugby players - theyre world-class in their own right. Also See: WATCH: Ashton ready to roll Sky Sports Rugby Podcast ' ' '