The applause echoed through the rafters and the sound of stomping feet rumbled across the aluminum bleachers as members of the Washington Capitals stepped onto the ice in Arlington on Sunday morning. As the players warmed up, the rows of fans who packed the seats and lined up three-deep behind the glass began a familiar serenade: “C-A-P-S! Caps! Caps! Caps!”
Amid the celebration, Adam Oates smiled as he took to the ice to run his first official practice as a head coach. After waiting more than four months because of the NHL lockout and spending the past week watching his players work out without being able to instruct them, he was more than ready for the moment.
“It was incredible. It was a lot of fun, it was great to finally get that over with, get the guys moving and be a part of it,” Oates said. “It’s been tough because you want to [coach]. The buildup and how long it’s been, very excited about it.”