With so many new players joining the team, many wondered how quickly the Florida Panthers would bring everything all together.
Coach Gerard Gallant was one of them.
"When you put that many new people together," Gallant said of Florida's revamped lineup, "you wonder about their chemistry.”
Yet after the first two games of the season, the Panthers have done as well as could be expected.
With nine players making their Florida debut on Thursday, the Panthers beat the Devils 2-1 in overtime before beating visiting Detroit 4-1 on Saturday.
“So far,” Gallant said, “it has been awesome."
Some of Florida's newcomers have stood out a little more than others.
Jonathan Marchessault, promoted to the top line because of the injury to Jonathan Huberdeau, has two goals in as many games and accounted for three points Saturday.
FACEBOOK VIDEO BELOW: Jagr being Jagr on his bobblehead day via One Panther Parkway
Colton Sceviour scored Florida's second goal -- the game-winner -- against the Devils.
Rookie Denis Malgin, just 19, notched his first NHL point Saturday.
"They're all quick, skilled players," Gallant said. "They've all been great in the first two games, we've had plenty of scoring opportunities. Everything is clicking."
Defenseman Keith Yandle was the biggest splash of a busy offseason -- one in which the Panthers retooled their front office, remade their defense and added a number of skilled forwards.
Despite the changes, the Panthers seem to be a very close group already.
"You have to credit the guys who were here for welcoming everyone in," Yandle said. "When you're building a team, you want great guys and I think they've found them here. Whether your an old guy or a young guy, we all get along great. It's a fun group to be around. It's fun coming to the rink every day."
FACEBOOK VIDEO BELOW: Gerard Gallant’s postgame presser via One Panther Parkway
After winning a franchise-record 47 games with a franchise-high 103 points, the Panthers locked up their core players with long-term contracts during the season while making wholesale changes to the rest of the roster.
Florida's biggest moves came on defense where the Panthers traded away Erik Gudbranson and Dmitry Kulikov to help negotiate their salary cap space by cutting $7.8 million.
The Panthers replaced the departed Brian Campbell ($7 million) with Yandle ($6.3).
With Willie Mitchell leaving as well ($4.25 million), Florida added Jason Demers and Mark Pysyk for $5.6 million.
Forwards Sceviour, Marchessault and Jared McCann are making a total of $2.6 million this year -- less than half of the $5.5 million the injured Dave Bolland was making before being traded to Arizona.
New backup goalie James Reimer could see his first action with the Panthers on Tuesday.
"To have so many new guys and see how well we've played through the first two games has been great," Gallant said.
"It is good to see. I'm sure they're all excited and happy."
▪ The Panthers will hold an open practice Monday at the Coral Springs IceDen at 11 a.m.
The team will then depart for their first road game of the season Tuesday in Tampa.