On Tuesday Flyers center Daniel Briere skated for the second time since suffering a concussion on Jan. 21 against New Jersey. Following the skate, he spoke with the Courier-Post about the injury and, in a frank and honest admission, blamed himself for the concussion.
“The thing that was frustrating was I’ve survived for 15 years in this league avoiding big hits like I took that day,” Briere said of the five knocks he absorbed against New Jersey, three from defenseman Anton Volchenkov. “I was disappointed in myself that I didn’t see ‘em coming. I know [Volchenkov’s] good at it, but usually that’s part of my game. I’m able to protect myself and I never saw him coming.”
Briere’s suffered concussions in the past, though none as severe as this most recent one. That, along with watching teammate Chris Pronger struggle with post-concussion symptoms, is a big reason why the 34-year-old’s taking a methodical recovery approach.
“That’s the thing with concussions,” Briere said. “You just have to hope for the best. You just never know from one day to the next what it’s going to bring. I’m trying to ramp up the workload every day. Sunday I did a workout off the ice. Yesterday, I went on the ice for about half a practice and today we pushed it a little bit more.
“Now we just have to hope the next day will be good and I’m still symptom free and you can push it to the next level.”
From a leadership standpoint, getting Briere back will be huge for the Flyers. He’s their assistant captain and one of the team’s longest-serving players and while there’s not quite a leadership vacuum yet, there’s certainly something missing between Briere and Pronger, the Flyers captain.
No, the Nashville Predators did not forget how to score goals … or at least they were lifted from that amnesia on Wednesday.
Mike Fisher lifted the curse 13:52 into the first period of tonight’s game against the Buffalo Sabres. You can watch that rare beast in the video above.
They had been shut out for three straight games and pretty close to four in pure game time.
On this subject, PHT’s Jason Brough asked Predators GM David Poile if he was considering moving a defenseman to improve in another area earlier today.
Tyler Ennis can probably relate with the Buffalo Sabres’ opponent on Wednesday, as he’s struggling almost as much as the Nashville Predators.
Perhaps some of that has to do with health?
Whether that’s the case or not, Ennis is out for the Sabres tonight, as the team announced that he’s dealing with an upper-body injury.
The Buffalo News discussed Ennis’ struggles in this article.
“I’d say he’s pressing too much. You can’t make those plays in every situation and in every point you touch the puck,” Dan Bylsma said to the Buffalo News. “ … He’s just got to simplify his game. He is a special player who can make those plays, but he can’t be trying to do it every time he touches the puck.”
He’ll need to wait a while to start getting things together, anyway.
You can check out tonight’s Wednesday Night Rivalry doubleheader on NBCSN, and you can also stream them online.
Here are the handy links for the two contests.
First, the New York Islanders host the Philadelphia Flyers.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
After that, the Chicago Blackhawks visit the San Jose Sharks.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
The San Jose Sharks will be missing a top-4 defenseman tonight when they host the defending champs from Chicago.
Justin Braun has an upper-body injury. His status is considered day-to-day.
“Brauny has been one of our unsung heroes here through the first quarter of the season,” coach Peter DeBoer told CSN Bay Area. “He’s played some outstanding hockey. So, we’re going to miss him, but it’s a great opportunity for Mueller and Tennyson and one of these guys to establish themselves. It’s a great opportunity for us to reward Dillon for how well he’s played.”
Against the Blackhawks, Brenden Dillon will take Braun’s spot on the top pairing alongside Marc-Edouard Vlasic; Paul Martin and Brent Burns will stay together on the second pairing; and 20-year-old Mirco Mueller will skate with Matt Tennyson.
Mueller has played just four games for the Sharks this season. In his last game, Thursday in Philadelphia, he received only 9:13 of ice time.
Also tonight, new Shark forward Dainius Zubrus is expected to debut on the fourth line.
Related: Sharks sign Zubrus, because DeBoer