Better With Popcorn

Wait for the playoffs: Briere powers comeback with two-goal effort in Game 1

For the last three months, the statement has been the same.

Through the anticipation; the waiting; the agony of the situation; it has all been addressed in the exact same frustrating way.

Just wait for the playoffs.

As Daniel Briere struggling through the final three months (and a little bit more) of the regular season, a contingent of the Philadelphia Flyers fan base all recited that same sentiment like a religious mantra.

Just wait for the playoffs.

Prior to Wednesday night’s Game 1 against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Briere had the distinct honor of virtually being a point-per game player in the playoffs, registering 96 points in 97 career playoff games.

After finishing in second on the team in goals (34) and total points (68) last season, many expected Briere to be the focal point of the Flyers offense in 2011-12.

Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out that way.

After being practically invisible through 2011, Briere became noticeable for all the wrong reasons in 2012.

Going five games without scoring a goal, he played the role of hero in the team’s January 7 game against the Ottawa Senators where he single handedly won the game for the team with a three-goal effort (the third of which came dramatically in the closing seconds of overtime).

It was the final time that he would score in over two months worth of games, 23 in total.

Just wait for the playoffs.

Despite only scoring three goals (one of which was an empty-netter) after his futile streak, Briere put together several notable performances that were arguably his best games of the entire season.

He appeared to be in prime form for a postseason run.

Then on April 1, he was hit in the final minutes of a game against the Penguins by fourth-liner, Joe Vitale and was held out of the lineup for the final three games of the season with a back contusion.

For a time, it was in question as to whether he was going to be able to display if he truly was the playoff performer that every one had sold him to be. Listed as ‘out indefinitely’ by the organization, many thought his season could be over.

Prior to Wednesday night’s puck drop the team formerly announced that Briere was going to be in the lineup.

And with it, he rewarded every one’s patience.

Sparking the Flyers’ epic comeback, Briere scored the team’s first two goals of the game to bring them within one goal of tying the score.

The first came on a breakaway where he roofed a shot on an impatient, Marc-Andre Fleury and the second came on a shot that was meant to be thrown on net that squeezed through an unexpecting Fleury.

Briere now has 98 points in 98 playoff games and is officially a point per game player in the second season.

As the once taunting mantra morphs into a profound prophecy, Mr. Playoffs is the new moniker of the once snake-bitten Briere.

With his iconic fist-pump on full display in Game 1, every one in the Flyers’ corner hopes that it will be a mainstay of the 2012 postseason run.



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