For a while, it looked like Brian Gibbons was going down the path once walked by Rico Fata and Konstantin Koltsov — fleet-footed Penguins prospects with the speed to create scoring chances but not the finish to make them count.

An undrafted free agent out of Boston College, the 5-foot-8 Gibbons created offensive opportunities by the handful during his first two seasons with the Baby Pens, but his numbers — 30 points in 70 games both years — lagged badly behind.

Gibbons has exactly 30 points again this year, but this time, they've been racked up in 27 games. He scored goals in two of his first three games after being sent down at the start of the Olympic break.

Gibbons thinks he knows what's at the root of his offensive insurgence too.

“Confidence. Not in terms of playing but in terms of finishing scoring chances,” Gibbons said. “I've always been able to get points in high school and college. My first two years here, I was struggling to do things that had always been pretty easy for me, like breakaways and two-on-ones.”

Spending some time on the right wing with Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz helped his confidence too, but he doesn't know when he'll get the next chance to do that again. As the Penguins get healthier up front, there's no guarantee Gibbons will be called back up at the end of the break.