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Briere Feeling Strong; Excited for Season

Flyers center ready to rebound from trying year

Tuesday, 07.21.2009 / 1:58 PM / News
By Kevin Kurz  - philadelphiaflyers.com
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Briere Feeling Strong; Excited for Season

(Voorhees, NJ) – For most folks in the hockey world the summer is a time to relax, spend time with friends and family, soak up some sun and take it down a notch or two from the hectic, almost non-stop pace of the season.

For Danny Briere, though, these months are for something else. 

“The most important part of the summer is definitely my training,” he said on Tuesday from the Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone. “That’s where the focus is, trying to get back on top of my game.”
Danny Briere played in just 29 regular season games last year, with a recurring groin injury. (Getty Images)

Briere suffered through a 2008-09 season marred with a recurring groin problem. It began in late October, and he didn’t come back full-time until the beginning of March. Although Briere played through the stretch run and playoffs, he was never quite himself, unable to generate the quick bursts of speed that are so essential to his success.

He is one of only a few players that are in town as the dog days of summer draw near.

“It was a very testing year [last year]. Testing the patience, especially,” he said. “Obviously, it didn’t go the way I expected it to go, but it’s in the past now. You try to learn from that. I’m actually very, very excited about our team going into this season. That’s what has been pushing me to work out even harder now.

“I’m starting to feel strong again. I’m trying to find that explosion that I used to have two years ago. Health-wise I feel great, and I’m ready for a big year.”

In the third year of an eight-year contract, Briere has averaged almost a point-per-game in his tenure as a Flyer (97 points in 108 games). The Flyers are hoping that a healthy Briere, along with an up-and-coming Claude Giroux, will fill the void left by departed forwards Mike Knuble (who signed as a free agent with the Washington Capitals) and Joffrey Lupul (traded to Anaheim as part of the Chris Pronger deal).

Briere thinks that on paper, the Flyers have improved the team from last season with the additions of Pronger and free agents Ian Laperriere, Ray Emery and Brian Boucher.

“That’s one of the reasons I’m so excited about next season; finally being able to play, but also with the moves that we made I think that we’ll have a very good team.”

Regarding Laperriere, Briere knows the tenacious forward from his younger days.

“We played on the same junior team growing up, and I followed in his footsteps in Drummondville. He’s going to be a player the fans are going to love around here. He’s gritty, a great penalty killer, first one to come to the rescue of any of his teammates, and a heart-and-soul player. You can never have too many of those guys.”

Briere was also asked for his thoughts on the Winter Classic, which will pit the Flyers in Boston against the Bruins at Fenway Park on January 1, 2010.

“It brings back memories of playing outside with my buddies on a rink that my dad used to build,” he said. “I’ve been watching the last two in Buffalo and Chicago, and I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be a great event.”

Another trip to London for Carter

The Flyers released their preseason schedule on Monday, which will feature a game in London, Ontario for the sixth time. The opponent will be the Toronto Maple Leafs, who are a short distance away from the John Labatt Centre.

Jeff Carter is a London native, and is always excited to play in his backyard.

“Not everybody gets to play an NHL game in front of their hometown fans and family and friends. It’s always exciting to go back,” he said.

“I always get a pretty warm reception even though I didn’t play my junior hockey in London, but I’d like to think that I’ve made some fans up there. It’s pretty cool.”

The Flyers own an all-time record of 4-1-0 and have outscored their opponents by a 21-10 margin in the five games in London. In previous years, the Flyers have taken on the New York Islanders (2008; 4-0 win), Ottawa Senators (2007; 4-0 win), Pittsburgh Penguins (2006; 2-1 loss), Atlanta Thrashers (2005; 8-6 win) and Washington Capitals (2003; 4-2 win).

Tickets for the game in London will go on sale sometime next week.

SCHEDULE

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AWAY
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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 82 28 58 7 86
J. Voracek 82 23 39 11 62
W. Simmonds 82 29 31 -4 60
S. Hartnell 78 20 32 11 52
M. Streit 82 10 34 3 44
B. Schenn 82 20 21 0 41
M. Read 75 22 18 -4 40
S. Couturier 82 13 26 1 39
V. Lecavalier 69 20 17 -16 37
K. Timonen 77 6 29 5 35
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 33 18 7 .917 2.50
R. Emery 9 12 2 .903 2.96
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