If you're planning a trip and need some advice on a good hotel, chances are Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Cal O'Reilly can help you out.
The seventh-year pro joined his fifth team this season when Pittsburgh reassigned O'Reilly to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton late last month. After stops in Nashville, Phoenix and Pittsburgh in the NHL and Portland in the AHL, O'Reilly has used the week between games to get adjusted to his new team.
"Right away when I got here I could understand what coach expects and how they want guys to play. The system fits me really well," he said. "Now is when playoff hockey kind of starts and you start letting it go. It's a good stretch."
O'Reilly admitted it has been tough bouncing between the AHL and NHL this season, especially with the different roles that he played in the two leagues. In the AHL, O'Reilly is a top-six forward who is counted on to put up points. In the NHL, he found himself in a more defensive role.
"At times it's tough when you play a ton of time down here and you go up and your minutes aren't as high and you're playing more of a grinding role," O'Reilly said. "I'm not a big, physical player. The skill part of the game is what I love and it's the way I played my whole life."
O'Reilly played in two games for the Penguins last weekend and is hoping to get his first point with the team when they face Adirondack this Sunday on the road. He's always looking forward to establishing some consistency in a season that has been a blur of different teams.
"It's been crazy. A lot of different jersey numbers, a lot of hotels and not having much clothes with me," O'Reilly said. "That's the way it goes. The guys on all the teams have been great with helping me adjust and get around."
Goaltender Scott Munroe practiced for the second straight day Friday and worked on his flexibility and movement. Hynes said he is still day-to-day and the team is aiming for Munroe to return to action Sunday.
"We're going to wait until Sunday to make the decision. We're not going to rush him," coach John Hynes said. "If he's not ready we'll play (Patrick) Killeen."
Killeen spent the week of practice facing as many shots as he could and preparing as if he will start Sunday. The more shots he faces, whether its in practice or game situations, is a big help in adjusting to the AHL level, Killeen said.
"I'm getting more and more used to it. I'm not worrying about any outside factors, just how I'm practicing and getting ready as if I was playing," he said.
With a full week between games, the Penguins have watched as Norfolk extended its winning streak to 10 games and build a six-point lead in the East Division. Hynes said his team isn't worried about running out of time to catch the Admirals.
"There's still a ton of hockey to play and this break has been good," he said. "We're excited to play a tough team in Adirondack on Sunday, followed by a good stretch of games coming up again."
Pittsburgh signed junior forward Adam Payerl to a three-year entry level contract on Thursday. Payerl, 20, is in his third season with the Belleville Bulls of the Ontario Hockey League. In 57 games this year, the 6-foot-3, 216-pound Payerl established career highs with 20 goals and 44 points – both of which rank third on the Bulls.
"He's a very gritty, aggressive player," Hynes said. "A big guy who can play in the hard areas of the ice and a tough player to play against."
at Adirondack Phantoms
3 p.m. Sunday