ARLINGTON, V.a. (DC News Now) – The Washington Capitals have a new team tradition this year, and it’s a large coiled rope with a significant meaning.

The inspiration and the rope came from the Arlington Fire Department station two, which just so happens to be head coach Peter Laviolette’s local fire station, and one day coach walked right up to the station and asked, ‘Hey, you guys got an extra rope I could use?’

“Coach came to the door, one of the guys answered,” says Fire Captain Ben O’Bryant for Arlington Fire Department, “and it was kind of a surprise to see him out of place, or at least where we’re not used to seeing him. Until he said who he was, it didn’t quite click, just did not expect him to show up at your door. Coach said he was looking for a piece of rope, and we just so happened that we had some rope.”

“The guys were fantastic, says Laviolette, “and they coiled that thing up really quick.”

Captain O’Bryant explains that they are a technical rescue station, and they used the rope they gave to the Caps for training.

“Normally, with the rope, we’d be pulling down at the wall, somebody up a hill or a side of a building or something like that. So it’s the same concept where you’ve got a number of people on the line, you know, everybody pulling in the same direction to accomplish whatever the mission is. So that’s in line with what we use it for.”

A humble statement from a first responder, but Garnet Hathaway and the rest of the players understand the difference between saving lives and playing hockey, and are using the first responders’ rope as motivation.

“Obviously, when they do it, it’s very meaningful, its life or death and we want to take a part of that, and just use some of that energy, and just try and bring it into hockey.”