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.