The Washington Capitals, a team breaking hearts every year in the playoffs.
Along comes Adam Oates, and they go farther than ever before in his first full season.
That was 1997-98, when the Capitals advanced to the Stanley Cup finals for the first time, when Oates the player had six goals and 11 assists in the postseason.
Washington didn't win the title, but it was a historic run for a franchise that had become a playoff regular with the reputation for flaming out early. They had been eliminated eight times in the first round in 14 appearances over 15 years, a 7-14 series record that included only one trip to the conference finals.
It's a new millennium, but the Capitals are again in a go-home-early playoff funk. Enter Oates again, this time as a first-time NHL coach. The recent run of futility positively glows when compared to the `90s: Alex Ovechkin and Co. are 3-5 in playoff series since 2008, but they haven't advanced past the second round.
''What I remember - it was my fir...