With a pair of goals Saturday against the Montreal Canadiens
, Danny Briere
shook a giant monkey off his back. The goals were the first he had scored against a goalie in 29 games (he had an empty-net goal March 13 against New Jersey).
"I think anybody that goes through this kind of stretch at some point, any offensive player, at some point you can definitely feel that (pressure to score)," Briere told NHL.com. "It definitely feels like it's starting to come back. … The last three weeks I really felt like my game was better. I was there for a lot of chances, it just wasn't going in."
Part of his success can be attributed to a line change that has seen him center rookie Brayden Schenn
on the left and Wayne Simmonds
on the right.
"I think I'm probably in a better place with my game to start with," said Briere. "Brayden, too, with a little bit more experience than earlier in the year. I've had the chance to play with many guys on the team, so that can change in a hurry, too. I'm ready for anything that happens."
This new line for Briere is similar to the one formed during the 2010 postseason, when Briere was placed between Scott Hartnell
and Ville Leino
, and that trio carried the Flyers all the way to the Stanley Cup Final.
"We were like the three leftovers that were going nowhere at that time," Briere said. "All of a sudden things just started clicking. Hopefully that happens again."
Coach Peter Laviolette
said he sees a few similarities, but isn't ready to predict the same kind of future.
"I think a little bit," he told NHL.com. "(Simmonds and Hartnell), they both do the same thing, they're big and strong and go to the hard areas. I think Brayden and Ville, maybe two entities that we're not sure of -- we never had Ville, we never had Brayden, he's been hurt a lot and he's trying to find a line, find where he fits in. We moved him over to left wing and with Danny, so we're hoping. … Certainly they've had a couple good games."
Contact Adam Kimelman at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK