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But players refuse to see that as a disadvantage.

“We’re excited,” Green said. “We’re like a sponge right now, ready to absorb all the information we can and we’ll go from there.”

Excited doesn’t begin to describe Oates‘ demeanor on Day One. Forced to spend months watching film and dreaming about the job he had but couldn’t yet enjoy, he also watched as his players skated last week without him.

No doubt he was itching to get on the ice.

“A lot, a lot. It’s been tough because you want to,” Oates said. “The build up and how long it’s been, very excited about it.”

His and the Caps’ work has just begun.