TAMPA — At first, they were the new kids on the ice.Forwards Barclay Goodrow and Blake Coleman and defenseman Zach Bogosian didn’t have much of a chance to get to know their Lightning teammates between the trade deadline in late February and the sports world shutting down in mid-March.Although the four-month pause due to the coronavirus pandemic brought its difficulties, it also gave the trio time to adjust to its new surroundings.They’re not viewed as the new guys, anymore.“I think the break may have helped all of this,” coach Jon Cooper said.“Players come in, it’s at the end of the season ... you don’t know anybody, you’re unfamiliar with the coaches and the systems, your teammates, and then all of a sudden, you get four months kind of off. But that didn’t mean you were four months away from your coaches or your teammates.“Now, you’re in the group chats, you’re communicating with everybody, you know everybody personally, a lot better, and then when you come back it’s almost like, wow, it’s your second year with the team.”The Lightning spent a lot of time chatting as a group over the break. Brayden Point said it was nice getting to know the players in a more relaxed setting than during the season, when everything is, “go, go, go.”“I think this (pandemic) is something that no one has gone through, and going through it together, you build those bonds,” Point said. “You get to know the guys more personally that way.”Collectively, Coleman, Goodrow and Bogosian played only 25 games with the Lightning. They were supposed to have about 25 apiece before the start of the playoff run.Coleman missed a game for the birth of his daughter , Charlie.“There was a lot going on in the trade with my family and just in general,” Coleman said about his first few weeks in Tampa Bay. “It’s one of those things where you get here and you’re kind of thrown in the kitchen sink as far as systems and trying to pick things up on the fly.”Coleman skated in only nine games with the team before the pause. He now plays a more critical role on the penalty kill, along with Goodrow, who skated in eight games.Coleman thought his best game before the break was the team’s last, against Toronto. He had four shots (most since Feb. 8), two hits and one blocked shot while spending almost 14 minutes on the ice.“I felt like I was going in the right direction before everything stopped there,” Coleman said.For Goodrow, his trade to the Lightning from the Sharks feels like years ago. But he said going through the pandemic subsequent sports pause with his teammates has brought them closer together.“To be able to go through training camp with your new teammates ... I definitely feel way more comfortable now than I did before the stoppage in play,” Goodrow said. “It’s been huge for myself and it kind of puts a reset button on things. It doesn’t even feel like the trade happened this year. It feels like we’re getting ready for the playoffs and I’ve been here the whole season.”Bogosian agreed the group chats during the pause helped the players get through “a pretty hard time.” Fortunately, he already knew some of them from his 12-year NHL career.“It’s a pretty easy locker room to walk into,” he said. “A lot of nice people and me being around a few years, you build connections. ... The hockey world is a pretty small world.”Looking back on the pause, Cooper agreed it was hard to believe these players were new acquisitions this season.“Familiarity is huge now, and it’s going to help those guys — no question,” Cooper said. “They’ve been with us for five months. It’s not been five days or five weeks, it’s been five months. And the more comfortable they’re feeling, you can see it on the ice in the way they’re playing, in the way they’re practicing and the communication with their teammates.” Contact Mari Faiello at firstname.lastname@example.org . Follow @faiello_mari .