Tag Archives: Danny Briere

Briere, Flyers Punch Through In Overtime

7 Jan

WELLS FARGO CENTER — Danny Briere can do it all — apparently with or without his gloves. His hat trick and fight was “inspiring” to Peter Laviolette and everything to the Flyers. He scored each of the Flyers’ goals in a 3-2 overtime thriller against the Ottawa Senators and he also won a fight against Kyle Turris.

The Flyers won in dominating fashion over the Senators in October, but since then the Sens have greatly improved. Having won seven of their last 10 games coming in, the Senators were a big test for Briere and the Flyers.

After fighting off some initial pressure from Ottawa, Briere struck first. Jakub Voracek found him on the left wing midway through the first period. Briere took a weak shot that Craig Anderson saved easily, but the rebound came right back to Briere who put it home for his 11th goal of the season.

Ottawa tried to get the Flyers engaged in a physical game, but the Flyers remained on track and applied pressure. Anderson got a lot of help from his goalposts in the first two periods. James van Riemsdyk, Wayne Simmonds, Voracek then Sean Couturier all hit the post before the second period was done.

Then the Senators got back in the game. With Braydon Coburn in the box for holding and Matt Carle in the box for tripping, Ottawa struck seven seconds into the 5-on-3 power play on a Milan Michalek goal.

The teams went to the locker room tied at one after two periods and the Senators knocking on the door. Tempers started flaring. Briere hooked Kyle Turris in the groin and Turris decked him in the back of the head. Both went to the penalty box and wanted more. They agreed to drop the gloves, only the third of Briere’s career.

“I thought that was a cheap shot on his part,” said Briere. “He kind of came down with a crosscheck to the head when I was in a vulnerable position on the ice. I scraped my face onto the ice, so there was a lot of frustration.”

Briere got the better of Turris, at least his teammates thought so. After the five-minute major had expired, the Flyers were all banging their sticks along the boards as their newfound enforcer approached the bench.

“I’ll give it to him any day,” said Braydon Coburn.

After the fight, however, Bobby Butler scored to put Ottawa up a goal. Three minutes later, Briere came back with his second goal on the power play when Turris found himself in the box again.

“I was fortunate on that one,” said Briere. “Kimmo [Timonen] made a great heads-up play and I was able to tip it, but I got lots of help from their defenseman putting it in for me.”

The Flyers applied pressure late, but couldn’t solve Anderson in regulation. They tired out the Senators, who appeared to be playing for overtime, tying the puck up instead of applying pressure of their own.

In overtime, The Flyers were relentless with their pressure and Bryzgalov came up huge with two very important saves of his 35 on the day. With 5.3 seconds remaining, Voracek found Briere again at the side of the net and on a second effort, he beat Anderson.

“I had the feeling that they were going to play casual,” said Briere. “I think I was in a forecheck with less than 15 seconds when Jake was able to put it behind the net, all I was thinking was try to jam it. I knew that I didn’t have a lot of room.”

The win gives the Flyers their second straight at home, an area they had to improve on and hade a good stride with the win on Saturday.

“We haven’t really been happy with how we’ve played at home as of late,” said Coburn. “We definitely wanted to kind of change that.”

They can thank Briere for that.

“He’s not a big guy, fly weight,” said Laviolette. “But he did a good job in the fight. It gave our bench a lift. I thought it was not a good second period for us. We ended up coming out storming in the third period. We weren’t able to crack a goal right away but he certainly gave us a lift. He had a monster game.”

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Chicago’s Stanley Cup Still Haunts Flyers

5 Jan

VOORHEES, N.J. — Danny Briere still can’t bear to watch. When it comes on television, he closes his eyes, looks away or changes the channel.

On June 9, 2010, Patrick Kane found himself with the puck along the left wing of the Flyers’ zone in overtime of a 3-3 Game 6 where the Blackhawks were up 3-2 in the Stanley Cup Final.

He deked and beat Kimmo Timonen outside. He stayed outside and just before crossing the goalline, he fired on net. The puck went through the legs of Michael Leighton and into the far side of the net, where it got stuck under the padding. No one but Kane knew where it was.

While the other 20,000 people in Wells Fargo Center were clueless, Kane threw off his gloves and skated toward Antti Niemi in celebration.

“I remember the next day waking up and there’s no meeting, there’s no media scrums, there’s no fans, there’s nobody waiting for you anywhere,” said Briere. “It was a very, very empty feeling. When I woke up, that’s when I started realizing what was going on. I don’t even remember after the game when I did.”

On Thursday, both teams will be on the ice in Philadelphia for the first time since that goal was scored. That said, few remain from that game for either team. Only seven active Flyers and nine Blackhawks are still with their respective teams since the 2010 Stanley Cup Final ended.

The Flyers played the Blackhawks last season, a 4-1 win at the United Center. But this is the first game in Philadelphia since Chicago won the Cup and don’t think for a second that the Flyers forgot.

“I’m sure it’ll cross everyone’s mind that was on our team that year,” said Scott Hartnell. “It was obviously a disappointing end to that season. It was a great run, everything like that. But coming up short always leaves bad memories in the back of your head. But there won’t be much motivation needed. We’ve got to get back to our winning ways. Our home record has been quite poor all season, and we’ve got to change that.”

The Flyers have lost two consecutive home games and need to right the ship at Wells Fargo Center. Between the HBO cameras and all the hoopla surrounding the Winter Classic, the Flyers are used to potential distractions. But this memory is one they firmly believe will help motivate them for a win.

“Anytime you think of Chicago, you’re going to think of them stealing the Stanley Cup from us,” said Claude Giroux. “Obviously it’s motivation for us to win every game. I remember last year, it was a big game for us. We won that game, but we’ve got to make sure we do the same thing here.”

The Flyers have been slipping in the standings. After the Winter Classic, they are now four points behind the New York Rangers and Western Conference-leading Blackhawks.

“We gotta get back on track here,” said Peter Laviolette. “We’re home for a couple games, back at the Wells Fargo building. We gotta take care of those games and pay attention to our home games.

“The home record is not where it needs to be. We have an opportunity [Thursday] and it’s a good hockey team, so we have to be ready to play.”

Only four teams in the league have fewer home wins than the Flyers who have eight. Ten of the Flyers’ 13 games in December came on the road, but this is a new year, a new month and the Flyers have seven home games in January. It’s time to turn the page on not only the calendar, but a new attitude at home.

“We look at it as we gave up two points to the Rangers the other night, a team we’re trailing,” said Braydon Coburn, “so it’s a game that we need.”

The two points up for grabs Thursday are very valuable for the Flyers who need them to keep from slipping too far. That will be the focus when the puck drops, but when the teams first see each other, there may still be one last bit of demon that needs to be exercised.

“I’ve never seen the puck go in,” said Briere, “and I don’t think I’m ready to see it yet.”

Despite Dominating Shots, Flyers Downed By Tampa

27 Dec

The game has been dangerous for the Flyers this season: good news, bad news. Most of the time, all the news has been on the injury front, but on Tuesday night they got two players healthy, but lost 5-1 to the Tampa Bay Lightning despite outplaying them for most of the contest.

Danny Briere returned from a hand injury and Brayden Schenn returned from a concussion, but neither made a difference.

For the first time all season, the Flyers were given back-to-back road losses, but they probably didn’t deserve it. In the first period, they outshot the Lightning 17-4, but were tied at one on the scoreboard.

Bruno Gervais scored on a shot that seemed to bounce off a maze of objects, last hitting Schenn before going behind Ilya Bryzgalov. Claude Giroux had an answer, though.

Giroux intentionally shot the puck to the corner and got to it first, passed it to Scott Hartnell who had a lot of net to shoot at and buried it.

In the second period, though, the wheels came off and the Flyers were battling not only funny bounces, but percentages too. The Lightning scored three goals on only eight shots. But it wasn’t all bad luck, the Flyers dug their own grave by leaving Steven Stamkos alone by himself.

First Stamkos cashed in on a rebound from a Brett Clark shot that hit Bryzgalov in the left leg. There were no defensemen there to clear the porch.

Then former Flyer Steve Downie scored after a slappass from a defenseman hit off his teammate’s skate, off the back boards and gave him an empty net to work with.

Stamkos then tied Marian Gaborik for the league lead in goals with 22 when he tallied on a power play. Downie fed him at the left post where he was unattended and had the whole net to shoot at.

The Flyers went back to dominating in shots in the third, but at that point their fate was cemented. They were unable to solve Mathieu Garon in the final stanza despite numerous opportunities. The Lightning weren’t shy about sitting on the lead. They iced the puck 11 times in the game, seven in the third period and Vincent Lecavalier put even more icing on the cake with a goal in the final minute. It was the fifth goal on 16 shots for Tampa.

Aside from the returning players, there wasn’t much good news stemming from the Tampa game. So what’s the next piece of good news? The Flyers are one of three teams in the NHL that haven’t lost three straight on the road. Next up, the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night.

Read’s Versatility Helping Injured Flyers

23 Dec

NEW YORK — Danny Briere might not play Friday night in the Winter Classic preview. If he doesn’t, Matt Read will take over his line. Read has played virtually every position for the Flyers this season at forward. From left wing to center to right wing to the point on the power play, the 25-year-old rookie has been a blessing for an injured team in that wherever a guy goes down, he can fill in.

“Wherever coach wants to put me in the lineup, I feel comfortable in any position,” said Read. “If it’s wing, center, on the point on the power play, it’s something that in college I played all positions and I’m comfortable at it and I’m just trying to make the best of my opportunity when I’m put in those positions.”

Despite not having a clearly defined role, Read has flourished. He is fourth among rookies in points and second in goals, behind Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

“It’s like a utility player in baseball when guys are injured or guys need a day’s rest and a guy can play all sorts of positions — infield, outfield,” said Scott Hartnell. “He can play left right and center. He’s good on the power play and the penalty kill.

“You don’t know how a kid’s gonna pan out when you sign him like that out of college. All things are pointing to a good start for him and a good NHL career.”

Read may have only one point in the last five games, but the team has been marred with injury and he’s had to fill in wherever the Flyers have a hole. Lately that’s been at center when Claude Giroux was absent and now possibly Briere. Read has spent time on the second, third and fourth lines this season.

If Briere’s hand is too bruised to go on Friday night, Read’s wingers will be James van Riemsdyk and Wayne Simmonds.

“When it comes time to score a goal or something like that, you never know what position you’re gonna be, if you’re gonna be a winger, centerman or D man,” said Read. “It’s good to know every position. It helps you see the ice better, I guess and it gives me better opportunity to be on the ice.”

Late Flyers Comeback Erased By Shootout

20 Dec

They didn’t get two points, but the Flyers’ effort was worthy. Thanks to a goal from Danny Briere with 18 seconds remaining, the Flyers lived to see overtime. Thanks to a shootout, they only got one point. Matt Read clanked a shootout attempt off the crossbar, giving the Colorado Avalanche a 3-2 victory over the Flyers.

Once again, the Flyers fell asleep in the second period, but erupted with pressure late in the third period. They cashed in with just enough time left to get a point in the standings.

After firing the first eight shots of the game, the Flyers seemed to go dormant. It wasn’t until a double minor late in the first period gave them a four-minute power play that they were able to strike. Jakub Voracek showed tremendous vision, seeing a streaking Scott Hartnell and threading him a pass through the legs of Jan Heda for an easy goal.

But the Avalanche struck back in the second period thanks to a mental mistake and a fortunate bounce. Briere lost control of his man, Gabriel Landeskog, who was found wide open in front of the Flyers’ net. He deked around Ilya Bryzgalov and scored his first goal since Nov. 8.

With under a minute left in the second period, the Flyers were served what looked to be a crippling blow. TJ Galiardi threw a puck toward the net that bounced off Tom Sestito and Matt Carle and beat Bryzgalov down low to make it 2-1. While Bryzgalov wasn’t expecting the bounce, he was out of position. Had he had his blocker and stick along the ice, he would have made the save.

The third period was lackluster until the end when the Flyers applied a ton of pressure to Jean-Sebastien Giguere. Another strange bounce left the puck behind the net. With the Avalanche goalie looking to his left, Briere took it right and wrapped it around for the game-tying goal.

Overtime saw the pace hasten quite a bit. The teams started out 3-on-3 because of matching minors, but the Avalanche survived the Flyers’ attack led by Briere and Jaromir Jagr.

In a shootout, neither goalie was able to make a save. Milan Hejduk, Briere, Matt Duchene, James van Riemsdyk and Ryan O’Reilly scored in order before Read beat Giguere and clanked his shot off the post.

That shootout stands as the difference between two points in the standings and the Flyers remaining snakebitten at the Pepsi Center since December of 2002.

Aiming To Forget An ‘Ol’ Fashioned Ass-Kicking’

18 Dec

WELLS FARGO CENTER — It was just about the ugliest way you could think to end a seven-game winning streak. The Flyers lost their first line center and got abused in a 6-0 thrashing, their worst home shutout loss since 2008.

From the first shot of the game, the Flyers were behind the 8-ball.

“I thought that was an old fashioned ass-kicking in every area of the game; goalies, defensemen, forwards,” said Kimmo Timonen. “They were better in every aspect of the game.”

He’s not wrong. Tim Thomas was phenomenal, making 31 saves. The Bruins were also better on faceoffs, special teams and blocked shots.

“I guess I would say he’s right,” said Danny Briere. “It’s just one of those games, you know. Nothing was going our way. I really believe you create your own bounces and we weren’t ready off the get go. Right off of the first drop of the puck we had too many guys that were… I think the mindset was more ‘Let’s see if we can stay in this game, let’s see how it goes and we’ll kind of ease our way into the game.’

“That’s the feeling that I got from a lot of guys around. It’s certainly the wrong way to go about it when you’re facing a top team who are defending Stanley Cup champions. I think that puts us in trouble right off the start of the game and playing catch-up hockey against the Bruins is not the best thing. You’re not going to give yourself the best chance to win that way.”

On the surface, it looked like the Flyers were just tired, or finally got the injury that, well, broke the camel’s back. But the team denies it. It’s an excuse they refuse to use. They knew darn well that a loss would give the Eastern Conference lead to the Bruins.

“We knew it was a big game,” said Jody Shelley. “We knew it was gonna be a physical game played by them and we knew we had to be there, but right from the start, we didn’t really engage in battle. We didn’t get pucks to the net. We had a game plan and we didn’t get on it early and it carried through the whole game.”

OK, so how does this go away? The fact that the Flyers were shut out big-time, almost makes you forget that they’re coming off a seven-game winning streak. The Bruins are now on four straight victories, but they’re an unbelievable 18-2-1 in their last 21. How do the Flyers get right back on the horse and keep trotting up the standings in the league?

“We have a plan,” said Shelley. “We know what we can do and hopefully you can look back in two weeks and say ‘Remember that game? Look what we learned. Look where we are now.’”

Just because they lost one game, as lopsided as it may have been, doesn’t mean the team thinks it is in a hole somehow.

“I think guys have taken a lot of pride in the way we have played the game, and they’re probably not happy about the way [Saturday] went,” said Peter Laviolette. “So we leave here and go back on the road and try to fix some of the things we’ve been doing and make them better.”

Schenn, Meszaros, Briere Return To Practice

6 Dec

VOORHEES, N.J. — The Flyers are getting healthier, slowly but surely. They were missing three players due to maintenance days on Monday, but all three returned on Tuesday.

Andrej Meszaros took a big hit at the end of the Phoenix Coyotes game on Saturday and is probably still recovering from it a bit, but he went full throttle in practice on Tuesday and, according to multiple reports, will play on Wednesday.

Danny Briere was sick and missed Monday’s activities, but was on the ice on Tuesday and showed no ill effects.

Brayden Schenn was not on the ice at the start of practice, but eventually joined his teammates and was a full participant as well. With him in the lineup and James van Riemsdyk likely to return, the Flyers will have yet another new look.

Here is the projected lineup against the Sabres based on the practice lines:

Scott Hartnell — Claude Giroux — Jaromir Jagr
Wayne Simmonds — Danny Briere — Matt Read
James van Riemsdyk — Brayden Schenn — Jakub Voracek
Max Talbot — Sean Couturier — Zac Rinaldo

Kimmo Timonen — Braydon Coburn
Matt Carle — Marc-Andre Bourdon
Kevin Marshall — Andrej Meszaros