Slumping Briere knows Flyers must fix issues

Slumping Briere knows Flyers must fix issues
March 21, 2012, 3:45 am
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Plenty of hockey players -- all athletes, probably -- are likely to sugarcoat their teams disappointing efforts when addressing the media after games.But as anyone whos spent any time around the Flyers knows, Danny Briere isnt most hockey players. When some of his teammates whitewashed the Flyers 2-1 loss to the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night (see story) as a game in which the bounces simply didnt go their way, Briere told it like it was.On paper, the Flyers generated chances, outshooting the Panthers 36-13 and playing disciplined for all 60 minutes. But they also fell into a two-goal deficit for the third game in a row -- and, it seems, dont know how to begin to correct that bad habit.Its been the issue for months now, Briere said. Weve tried all kinds of things, and I cant explain why it keeps on happening. You come back sometimes, but youre not going to be able to do that all the time -- especially in playoff games, tight games.
We did last game against Pittsburgh, but thats not going to happen too often. For us to have success, its something were going to have to rectify going forward, definitely.Something else that ought to be remedied as the playoffs approach? Briere himself. The scrappy center has just one goal in his last 28 games --and it was an empty-netter.It isnt that Briere hasnt been working hard in games or at practice, or even that he isnt creating chances or contributing to others success. He just hasnt been able to find the back of the net. Snakebitten is the word thats been tossed around the Flyers locker room.Its been going for a while, he said. I dont know. I only know just one way to get out of it: to keep trying, to keep working. I try to get closer to the net, try to find ways to jam at pucks. I believe at some point its going to turn. I wish I had an easy answer.He had his chances yet again on Tuesday, but two days after setting Scott Hartnell up for the game-winning overtime goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Briere was once again unable to connect.To his credit, Briere played a rather strong game against the Panthers, sending five shots toward goalie Scott Clemmensen and skating with a noticeable determination. That cant exactly be said for the team as a whole. Though they started stronger than they did over the weekend, the Flyers seemed to lack energy and spirit for most of the game.Perhaps, Briere said, theres a reason for that.Sometimes when you come out of a stretch when you play New Jersey, Boston, Pittsburgh, this is a game that gets lost a little bit, he said. Its always a dangerous game. Maybe we came into the game a little too flat in that department. The emotion, its tough to reproduce the same emotion after being up so high beating Pittsburgh in an emotional game that we had.I think that it was a little tough to find it at times. Especially early in the game, it took us too long. And by the time we got that back, it was 2-0 for them.E-mail Sarah Baicker at sbaicker@comcastsportsnet.com.