Better With Popcorn

Briere looks to pick up scoring in absence of Jagr

At this point, it’s strange when some one isn’t getting injured on the Flyers.

The unfortunate trend continued into the New Year, when Jaromir Jagr started things off as only a member of the Flyers could, with another injury.

While it will be no easy to task to replace the team’s third-highest point producer, the situation does provide a golden opportunity for several members of the team.

During Wednesday’s practice, Matt Read was moved up to replace Jagr on the top line. Max Talbot and Jakub Voracek moved onto the second line and James van Reimsdyk moved up to the third line to play with Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds.

Since Schenn returned from an injury of his own, Zac Rinaldo has found himself as the odd man out. Jagr’s injury has opened up a roster space, which in all probability will be filled with the rookie energy man. This could prove to be an opportunity for the gritty forward to showcase his value prior to Jagr’s eventual return.

Last season, Daniel Briere played the role of goal scorer. This season he has played the role of the invisible man.

While his goal total is not what it was last season, he still has found a way to produce.

Through 31 games last season, Briere had registered 25 points (16 goals, 9 assists). Through 31 games this season, Briere has the same point total but has it weighted more heavily in the assists column (10 goals, 15 assists).

While he isn’t being noticed as often as he used to and his goal total may not be as high as some may have hoped for it to have been by this point, Briere has scored some important goals.

Seven of his ten have directly impacted a game’s result; three tied a game, three put the team ahead and one ultimately was a game-winner.

With Jagr out of the lineup, Briere will have more opportunities to bolster his goal total. In fact, the team may need it.

In the Winter Classic, coach Laviolette elected to have Briere take a penalty shot awarded to the team with 20 seconds remaining in regulation and the team trailing by one.

He failed to score.

In Jagr’s absence, Briere is going to have to capitalize on future opportunities like the one previously mentioned. He can’t be leaving goals on the table.

There is no denying that he has vanished at certain points this season. With the team’s first line generating a majority of the club’s offense (37.6% to be exact), Briere and the second unit need to make their presence felt more often.

With that being said, Briere has produced fairly consistently this season and has been apart of some important plays.  However, he has gone four games without recording a point and has only scored three goals in his last 15.

With Jagr out of the lineup, Briere is going to need to be more visible and continue to produce. At the end of the day, consistent production is the name of the game. Whether it is goal or assist, any kind of production is good production.

But it wouldn’t hurt if he scored a goal or two for old time’s sake.

--

Follow me on Twitter (@mattbrigidi) and make sure to "like" The Checking Line-Flyers Edition on Facebook to stay up to the minute with all the latest team news and notes.

Feel free to shoot me an email: mattbrigidi@thecheckingline.com