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Be Thy Enemy??

Giroux and Briere ready to be rivals for a day

Thursday, 01.27.2011 / 3:31 PM ET / News
By Mike G. Morreale  - NHL.com
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Be Thy Enemy??
After combining to help Philadelphia beat Montreal 5-2 on Tuesday, Claude Giroux and Danny Briere are preparing for the possibility that they could be All-Star opponents.
PHILADELPHIA -- Claude Giroux doesn't anticipate a friendly exchange if he and teammate Danny Briere are on opposing teams and forced to fight for a loose puck in a corner during Sunday's 2011 NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover.
 
Claude Giroux is tied for the team lead in scoring with 47 points, while Danny Briere leads the team in goals with 26 through 47 games.
While Giroux certainly would prefer to have Briere on his team, there's no guarantee that will happen. The Philadelphia teammates will learn which club they'll represent Friday when the anticipated NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft powered by Cisco (8 p.m. ET, VS, TSN, RDS) is staged at the Raleigh Convention Center.
 
"I think it would be pretty nice to play with him, but if I play against him, I know we're going to go pretty hard in the corners," Giroux, who scored his 19th goal in Tuesday's 5-2 defeat of the Canadiens, said. "Really, he's one of the reasons why we're in first place (in the Eastern Conference) right now. He just finds a way to get those big goals in the third period. It just looks like it's easy for him to score goals. Anytime you got a guy like that who gets those big goals, it's huge."

Briere, who will join Giroux and coach Peter Laviolette in Raleigh, is making his second All-Star appearance and first as a member of the Flyers. He was named most valuable player of the 2007 game in Dallas as a member of the Buffalo Sabres after totaling a goal and 4 assists for the Eastern Conference in a 12-9 loss to the Western Conference.
 
"I was voted in on the starting five," Briere, who had a goal and an assist against the Canadiens, recalled. "Lindy Ruff was our coach and it was me, (Alex) Ovechkin and (Sidney) Crosby to start. But we didn't have enough centermen, so after the first shift, Lindy put me on a line with Marian Hossa and Dany Heatley ... not that bad. For some reason, it clicked with those guys. I felt comfortable. I played with Heatley at World Championships for a couple of years and Marian Hossa is just a great player, so it was really easy."
 
When told of Giroux's comments about what could happen if the two were to land on opposing teams at this year's All-Star Game, Briere laughed.
 
"We're both very competitive and there will be a lot of bragging rights back home with the boys, so I think it'll be a little intense (in the corners)," Briere told NHL.com.
 
Briere leads the Flyers with 26 goals in 47 games. His career high in three previous seasons in Philadelphia was 31 in 2007-08, when he finished with 72 points.
 
"He's got such a great scoring touch," Giroux said of Briere. "Sometimes it (ticks) me off the way he scores goals. Even behind the (goal) line, he knows how to score goals. That's why he's having such a great career. He finds a way."
 
Briere has scored a career-high 32 goals twice, with the Phoenix Coyotes in 2001-02 and the Sabres in 2006-07.
Briere and Giroux also began living together from the start of the 2010-11 season.
 
"I'm excited for him," Briere's linemate, Ville Leino, said. "He probably should have been on the roster right from the start (Briere was named to the roster after the Flames' Jarome Iginla pulled out), but I'm happy he's there and he'll enjoy it with his family and his roommate (Giroux). I'm sure if they're on opposite teams it'll be a good scrum for the puck, but they'll be laughing about it afterwards ... maybe right away, actually."
 
Giroux enters the All-Star break on a career-high seven-game scoring streak, during which he's totaled 3 goals and 11 points. He's tied with Mike Richards for the team lead with 47 points.
 
"There's no doubt that Claude was very deserving," said Briere, who assisted on Giroux's goal against Montreal. "There's lots of guys on our team I thought were deserving, but Claude was at the top. The way he's played, the way he's matured into his role, there's no doubt he deserved to be there right from the get-go."
 
Just because he was one of the original 36 players selected by NHL Hockey Operations, however, Giroux doesn't anticipate hearing his name called before Briere's at the fantasy draft.
 
"I don't think that will happen," Giroux said. "But we'll see. Danny's bringing his family and I'm bringing my family, so it's going to be pretty exciting. It'll be a good weekend."
 
Briere feels the new format for determining teams has created a buzz.
 
"It's fun having the players involved because it creates more interaction with the fans as well," Briere said. "At the same time, we're all going there to enjoy ourselves and the last thing you want is an injury. Maybe if you're the last guy picked you'll have a little something to prove.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 82 22 59 1 81
C. Giroux 81 25 48 -3 73
M. Streit 81 9 43 -8 52
W. Simmonds 75 28 22 -5 50
B. Schenn 82 18 29 -5 47
S. Couturier 82 15 22 4 37
M. Del Zotto 64 10 22 -5 32
M. Read 80 8 22 -4 30
M. Raffl 67 21 7 6 28
V. Lecavalier 57 8 12 -7 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 18 18 11 .928 2.25
R. Emery 10 11 7 .894 3.06
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