Flyers forward Danny Briere sounded off today about Sunday’s hit that put him out indefinitely with an upper-back contusion.
That hit, of course, was delivered by Pittsburgh’s Joe Vitale, and looked like this:
What did Briere think of it?
“Look, everybody knows that (they) put the line that was on the ice, on the ice with a minute left in a game that was out of hand,” he said, as per Philly.com. “Everybody knows the intent, what the intent was. Was it a bad hit? No. It was a clean hit.
“But obviously, you knew what he was doing. He was obviously trying to hurt me. We all know that.”
Briere might be right that Vitale was trying to hurt him, but just to play devil’s advocate, if Briere knew the game was out of hand, maybe he should’ve kept his head up circling through the middle of the ice. Vitale clobbered him seconds after a faceoff, so he knew who was out there for the Penguins.
But you can understand Briere’s frustration – there’s no telling if he’ll be back in time to seek revenge on the Penguins.
“I don’t know much at this point,” he said. “All I know is that my back is in spasms. They have some fancy words for it that I don’t understand. There is no timetable.
“I’d like to be ready for the playoffs, I just don’t know at this point.”
As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.
Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.
While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.
It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.
One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.
Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.
Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.
Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?
Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.
The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.
The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:
That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.
Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:
Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.
Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.