This is one injury Danny Briere says hes never had before so hes unclear what the recovery process is.
My back is in spasms, the Flyers centerman said on Tuesday.
Briere is out indefinitely and uncertain whether hell be available when the playoffs start next week.
I dont know much at this point, he said. All I know is that my back is in spasms. They have some fancy words for me that I dont understand. No one knows exactly. There is no timetable. Obviously, Id like to be ready for the playoffs, I just dont know at this point.
Briere was clocked pretty hard by the Penguins Joe Vitale in Sundays 6-4 Flyer win at Pittsburgh with 1:03 left to play. A clean, open ice shoulder check.
Briere fell to the ice and said he felt sore but okay after the game until a few hours later when his back began to seize up.
It was from the hit, but I dont know when or why this is happening, Briere said. I saw him at the last second and tried to brace myself to take the hit. Its just one of those things sometimes. It turns out bad.
Briere thought the hit was clean but like the Flyers, questions the motives of Pens coach Dan Bylsma sending his enforcers including defenseman Deryk Engelland onto the ice when the game was already decided.
Everyone knows you put that line on the ice with a minute left and the game is out of hand, everyone knows what the intent was, Briere said. Was it a bad hit? No, it was clean.
Obviously, he knew what he was doing. He was trying to hurt me. We all know that. It was clean hit, Im the first one to admit to that. I saw him come up at the last second. I braced myself to take the hit. It just turned out bad, this time.
Briere thinks this makes for a more entertaining series when the Flyers meet the Penguins in the playoffs.
He said he wants to remain positive that hell play but hes uncertain whether hell be available at the series start. He will not play in the final three regular season games, including tonight against the Rangers.
From his perspective, its doubly frustrating since Briere had finally found some line chemistry with Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds.
They had four goals and nine points last week against Toronto and a goal Sunday against the Penguins. Simmonds has 27 goals, of which, five have come in the last four games on Brieres line.
Schenn and Briere each have two goal since being reunited.
I was very excited about our line the past couple of weeks, Briere said. It was starting to click and really mesh well together.
Obviously, its been a big issue all year trying to find the right combinations, in a sense. Im hoping well pick it up where we left off when I have a chance to come back.
Andreas Lilja is healthy and back in the lineup on defense, subbing for the injured Nicklas Grossmann. Lilja could have played in Pittsburgh. Ilya Bryzgalov, who missed three games with a chip fracture in his right foot, returns to the lineup. Jody Shelley is expected back in the lineup on Eric Wellwoods line with Zac Rinaldo.
E-mail Tim Panaccio at firstname.lastname@example.org