By his own admission, Chase Schaber got off to a ‘mediocre’ start at Fife Flyers.
But the 25-year-old left winger has certainly found his feet over the last two weekends, notching two goals, and putting in impressive performances on the high-energy third line.
“At the start I felt mediocre, but now I feel I’m getting a lot more comfortable,” Schaber told the Press.
“That doesn’t mean I’m complacent or happy with what I’m doing. I want to get better every single day, and I want to win.
“I like scoring, but what I really care about the most is getting in the win column every night. If we win, every guy’s got a piece of the pie, and that says a lot about the team.”
Schaber admitted that the Fife camp was in a dark place after the recent four-game losing streak, but is now in a much happier place following three consecutive victories.
“We’re feeling good - I feel like we’re starting to establish a team identity and how we want to play night in, night out,” he said.
“Anybody who plays sports will tell you that if you go on a losing streak it sucks.
“We’ve got a bunch of competitive guys in the room – guys who have won things in the past and who hate losing.
“The practices and everything during that time were miserable. It gives you the feeling you don’t want to have so we sharpened up on things, bounced back against Dundee, and now I feel we’re on the right track, and we’ve just got to keep building from here.”
Schaber has come to life since moving to the third line with Josh Scoon and James Isaacs – a hard-working trio singled out for praise by head coach Todd Dutiaume.
“The chemistry is good,” Schaber said. “Scoony and Isaacs play a simple game, nothing too complicated, and they talk, which really helps me out there.
“Our focus is to be responsible in our defensive zone, be on the right side of pucks, chip pucks in, then we’ve got to play the body.
“When we do that it creates energy and once we play the body that’s where we get our room and can start making things happen down low.”
Schaber showed his prowess up front with a stunning postage stamp strike in the 4-0 win over Cardiff Devils on Sunday.
“My goal against Cardiff was created by hard work in the D-zone,” he said.
“Guys chipping pucks out, playing hard against other team’s top lines, putting the work in, doing the little things, and then all of a sudden things open up.
“That’s the way we have to play. It might not be the funnest thing to do, but when you work hard, things pay off.
“A lot of people can shy away from hard work and like things to come easy to them. As a team you’ve got to own up to that, and we’re on the right track now.
“Where we’ll get our most results is in the third period, because we have the firepower. It’s just putting in the work and doing the little things that separate us, then we can strike when we have to.
“If we stick to that and trust in our systems, and trust in each other to do the detailed little things, then we’re on the right track.”
Schaber feels that the unselfish team performances coach Dutiaume called for are now being delivered.
“We have the skill – we have the firepower up front - it’s just doing the little things that a lot of players don’t like to do, but you have to do it to win,” he said.
“You have to play good defence, you have to play hard, you’ve got to sacrfifce an individual highlight reel play for the benefit of the team to win.
“Those opportunities come when you do the little things during the game.
“It works like that on all teams that find themselves in the win column.
“When everybody is contributing it means you have a team - that’s what we’ve got right now and we’re going to keep building on it.
“By no means are we done here. We still have a lot of room to get better and we’re on the right track towards that.”