Player Report Card: Danny Briere

NAME: Danny Briere

POSITION: Right Wing

Regular Season Statistics: 75 Games Played – 26 Goals, 27 Assists, 53 Points. -2.

Analysis: Simply put: none of Briere’s statistical totals are bad for the regular season.  In fact, they are pretty respectable numbers.  Anytime a player has a season in which they score 25 goals or more they are looked at as a better than average player.  However, most people around the NHL realize that Danny Briere is a great player, and getting paid $6 million a season.  With that being said, I believe that the Flyers should have gotten a much better regular season from #48.  Sure, it wasn’t all Briere’s fault:  the Flyers went through literally a two-month stretch where they switched lines almost every night, and Briere continuously bounced from wing-to-center-back-to-wing-and-back-to-center.  I understand that it’s hard to stay grounded with all that going on, and Briere was never really able to develop chemistry with any one player, but for a guy that’s getting paid the kind of money he is, he needed to adjust better.  It’s no wonder that Briere is constantly subject to trade rumors, because he has consistently underperformed his contract during his three regular seasons thusfar that he’s spent in Philadelphia.

Postseason Statistics: 23 Games Played – 12 Goals, 18 Assists, 30 Points.  +9.

Analysis: You know the old saying: “When you don’t earn your money in the regular season, you had better earn it in the playoffs.”  Never heard of it?  Me either.  Still, that saying was a perfect motto for Briere once the Stanley Cup Playoffs began.  The Flyers forward, who, in my opinion, was snubbed unbelievably for the Conn Smythe at the conclusion of Game Six against Chicago, enjoyed the most successful (and longest) playoff campaign of his career, by far.  The staggering point totals for Briere seemed to come by virtue of – you guessed it – chemistry.  When moved to center, and in between Ville Leino and Scott Hartnell, Briere reminded everyone of just how lethal he can be.  He dominated the playoffs, finishing as the leading scorer in all the league, and being – without question, at times – the best player on the ice for every game of the Stanley Cup Final.  The domination of the Leino-Briere-Hartnell line keyed Briere’s rampant scoring pace throughout the playoffs and made him every bit deserving of the Conn Smythe, however he was snubbed in favor of the victors.

FINAL GRADE:  B+

Reasoning: It’s hard NOT to give Briere at least an “A-” here, but I’m trying to be realistic.  I remember being incredibly frustrated with Danny during the course of the regular season, once again not seeing him live up to that hefty contract.  However, as he does seemingly every year, he made me forget about his regular season by having a sensational playoffs.  Make no mistake: Briere was far and away the Flyers best offensive threat in the postseason this year.  That doesn’t just show by his point total, but also the fact that he was the man buzzing each and everynight on the ice.  He worked hard, he made things happen, and it was clearly evident that he really, really, really wanted that Stanley Cup.  Another year (hopefully) of being teamed up with Scott Hartnell and Ville Leino should produce some more solid numbers for the Flyers’ sniper.  Of course, the Cup window hasn’t closed yet either, and if Briere puts on a show this coming year like he did this past postseason, there should be plenty of fireworks along the way.

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