Daniel Briere’s first year in Montreal nearly bottomed out on Tuesday, when he received just 4:27 in ice time during a 3-1 win over Phoenix.
To hear head coach Michel Therrien explain it, the decision was all about getting a W.
“On our side we’ve got to make decisions — I’ve got to look at the big picture with the team and make adjustments during games to make sure that we’ve got a chance to win the hockey game,” Therrien told the Montreal Gazette. “We made those decisions (Tuesday), and adjustments and it was good for the team because we end up making a comeback and won against a team that are really tough to play against.”
Briere, the Habs’ big summer signing, received just seven shifts against the Coyotes — four in the first, two in the second and just one in the third — for his lowest TOI total of the season (save the 4:20 he played against Nashville on Oct. 19, when he was hurt midway through the game.)
Briere has just five goals and 10 points through 26 games this year and is averaging 12:38 per game — his lowest average since the 2000-01 campaign in Phoenix, when he was 23 years old.
“Danny is a great person and we want things to happen,” Therrien said. “And we gave him an opportunity. But I’m sure he wants to produce more, wants to get involved more.”
The Habs will take on the Blues tonight in St. Louis.