Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins head coach John Hynes said a change is taking place among his players.
The new ones in particular.
As the team enters the third week of the season, the multitude of new faces are no longer looked at as, well, new.
That means Trevor Smith isn't the high-scoring forward that spent last season with the Norfolk Admirals. Warren Peters isn't viewed as the player who spent most of last season with the Minnesota Wild, and Benn Ferriero's last three seasons with the San Jose organization are a memory.
They're all Penguins now, here for the long haul.
It's not about where they came from or what they're supposed to be, Hynes said. We have a much more ‘now' feel and it's about playing the way we want to play, instilling the work habits and meshing all that together.
The latter part is something Hynes has been tinkering with through the first four games, juggling lines routinely searching for trios with chemistry. Considering that eight of the 12 forwards who suited up for Sunday's game against Syracuse were newcomers, it's something that takes time.
The more we practice and play together, we'll have a better idea of where guys are going to be and they'll have a better understanding of the system we play here, said Brian Gibbons, who has skated on a line with Smith and Paul Thompson this week in practice.
With time we'll see better results.
Those results have been a bit misleading, at least how they appear on the scoreboard. Despite an 0-4 start, Hynes said his team has been in every game, kept the scores close and had plenty of chances to win.
There's a lot to like about the early performance, he said.
Unfortunately the things we don't like have cost us games. This week in practice is about analyzing those areas.
Areas such as avoiding bad penalties and early deficits – things that may be rectified a bit with four lines displaying solid chemistry.
We've used a lot of combinations and with four games and another week of practice now, it is coming, Hynes said.
NOTES: Keven Veilleux was a full participant in practice while D Robert Bortuzzo skated with a black jersey but didn't participate in contact drills.
Hynes said Veilleux's return is close, but there won't be any changes on the injury front heading into this weekend's action. That means Veilleux, Bortuzzo and F Jayson Megna remain out.
Rochester Americans at
When: 7 p.m., Friday
Where: Mohegan Sun Arena