Flyers' Briere shines in playoffs again
Just go with it.
"At the end of the day it doesn't matter what I do. It's all about the team, it's all about a win," Briere said humbly after igniting the Flyers 4-3 come-from-behind overtime win Wednesday with a pair of goals. "I can play as well as I could, but if we don't win that game nobody cares in this room and I don't care. We're trying to move on. There is only one goal. All we care about is winning games."
The Flyers clearly need Briere to win games at this time of the year. That much became even more apparent Wednesday, when he scored on a semi-breakaway in the second period (replays showed he was offside, but the whistle never blew), and then with a sneaky quick shot from the left corner in the third to cut what was a 3-0 Penguins lead down to 3-2.
Briere now has 98 points in 98 career playoff games. He has 61 points in 58 playoff games with the Flyers.
"He's done it his whole career," Philadelphia coach Peter Laviolette said. "He's done it so many times in the playoffs that I don't think it should surprise anybody that he had a big night tonight."
Well, maybe a little bit, but only because Briere could barely move last week with his back in spasms. He missed the last three games of the regular season and was not sure he'd be able to start the playoffs, but he made a somewhat miraculous recovery over the weekend and was back practicing by Monday.
Flyers center Claude Giroux even said Wednesday morning that Briere was flying on the ice the last few days.
"Yeah, I'm 100 percent," Briere said with a smile. "Overnight I got a lot better."
Clearly he's fibbing there, but only to have a little fun at the media's expect. Still, it wouldn't have mattered if he was telling the truth.
Briere has a track record of showing up in the playoffs, and 100 percent healthy or not, it's no surprise he was the guy that lit the fire Wednesday.
Two years ago he had 30 points over 23 games in the Flyers run to the Stanley Cup Final.
"We all know what he's capable (of doing)," Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov said. "We know he's a very skilled guy, he's a goal scorer. I wasn't surprised he scored the goals because we all know two years ago he was scoring all the time in the playoffs. It's nice to see he's healthy."