-- Danny Briere
has been one of the primary engines driving Philadelphia's stunning return from near oblivion during the past six games.
He was at it again Tuesday night in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals against Montreal, scoring the game-winning goal in Philadelphia’s 3-0 win at the Wachovia Center.
Briere’s goal came on the Flyers' first power play of the night and was the result of him forcing defenseman Hal Gill
to bite on a fake before snapping a shot over the glove of Jaroslav Halak
Briere has 18 points in his last 11 playoff games and he had a goal and an assist in Sunday’s 6-0 series-opening victory.
Tuesday’s performance earned him a spot on the podium to discuss what happened in Game 2. Here is what he had to say.
: If somebody said to you you'd come out of the first two games with two shutouts and all those goals, what would you have said?
: It would be hard to believe, to be honest. But, you know, we didn't play our best game. We know it. Sometimes you need your goalie to steal one for you. I felt like that was the case, especially in the first 40 minutes tonight. You know, we've been on the other end of the spectrum a few times. It's nice to see Michael come in and play two great games for us at home.
: You guys came into this series after facing a Boston team that was really strong on the penalty kill. Do you feel like getting through that series, finding success there, helped you on your power play here?
: I felt, especially early in the series against Boston, we were struggling getting in the zone. But Game 6, 7, I thought our power play was getting better. I mean we were starting to build a little bit of confidence.
You know, it's not like we were coming in an easier series. Montreal's had a good PK all year. They've had one of the best power plays all year and in the Playoffs as well. So, you know, two games like that to win the special teams it goes a long way and puts us in a good spot.
I think first game we can almost count four goals on the power play even though only two counted, two were at the end where the guy was just stepping on the ice. Tonight I think Ville's goal was kind of the same thing.
So to win the special teams, especially when you're not at your best, we don't feel like we have played our best so far. It feels good to be up 2-0. Taking care of our home-ice advantage here.
: Ever since you and Ville (Leino) were put together you basically thrived in the Playoffs. What is it about your games that you feel complement each other?
I think we kind of play the same way. We think the game alike. He's very strong on the puck, and you know at times when you think that the play's dead and he's got three guys on his back, he finds a way to keep the play alive and find his teammates around the net.
So I mean, it's been a lot of fun playing with him. I know it's been a rough year not having a chance to play as much as he probably deserves until the Playoffs. But when you find that chemistry and things are clicking, there's no better feeling. You're going out there playing, you just have the feeling that every time you jump on the ice you're going to score, you're going to create a chance to score. It's a fun feeling to have. And I think the three of us, me, Scotty and Ville, right now we're having those feelings when we jump on the ice. Hopefully it stays like that all the way through the end of the Playoffs.
: You're a big sports fan of other sports as well. Why is it in your view that this sport has the Ville stories, has the Leighton stories over and over again, seemingly even more so than the other sports?
: That's a good question. You know, I think first of all it's probably more of a team sports than any other in a sense that even your guys on the third and fourth line are playing such a big role. You know you look at other sports and the last few players don't have as much of a big role as players do, I think, in the NHL.
You look at guys like Blair Betts
and Ian Laperriere
probably all year were always amongst our forwards with the least amount of ice time. But you look at what they bring to the team, and you know, you realize that it would be tough to be as successful without them.
So, yeah, that's why there are different heroes when you get to the Playoffs. Different guys seem to be stepping up. I mean, all over the years, not just this year, but every year there seems to be different guys that are stepping up that are unknown. I think it's pretty cool.
: You guys know how it feels to be down 2-0. How does it feel to be up 2-0 now in this series and be in command in the series?
: Well, it's definitely a good feeling. But you look at the two teams that are here right now, both teams know that that can go away quick. We came back. Montreal came back a couple times. They were down 3-1, 3-2 against very good teams before. So we're not going to sit back. We saw what we were able to do to Boston. So the worst thing we could do right now is sit back.
The thing that I like is the fact that we all feel like we haven't played our best games yet, and we still have a lot to prove. So I think that's a positive that we still have more in the tank. You know, we want to prove that it's winning on ?? we've been winning, but it's not just a fluke.
: How excited are you being in this position to go back to Montreal where you know you're going to hear a little bit from the fans being from that part of the world and the like?
: Yeah, I mean, it's going to be pretty intense. I expect it. But I've been through it before. I've been through it in the Playoffs before. I don't expect any less boos. You know, which is kind of nice, they'll leave Chris Pronger
alone a little bit. It's part of the game and it's fun. It means that you're doing something well. I take it as a compliment more than anything.