Briere: 'There's no extra friction' after buyout
Danny Briere will face Ray Emery and the Flyers for the first time as a member of the Canadiens Saturday night. (USA Today Images)
MONTREAL -- The billboards are scattered throughout the Province of Quebec, but especially in the downtown area of Montreal.
“Le Club du Hockey,” they say with a picture of the Canadiens' logo and a player’s face.
One of those faces adorning the billboards from Trudeau Airport along Hwy. 20 into city centre belongs to … Danny Briere.
It caught the attention of the Flyers on Friday afternoon when they were stuck in traffic getting into the city.
“We’re driving on the highway and there’s the big billboard of Danny B,” Scott Hartnell said. “We were in the city not even two minutes and we saw his face all over the place.
“I texted him about that. We had a few texts back and forth. He’s liking it and enjoying it up here.
“He was a linemate of mine for probably four, five of the six years he was in Philly and I’m going to miss him, but tonight, it’s us against them. Both teams didn’t want the starts they had with losing the first game but we have to come out hard and try to get a win on the road.”
Ray Emery makes his second Flyers debut tonight at Bell Centre. The last time being during the 2009-10 season.
This is the first back-to-back situation the Flyers face this season with Sunday afternoon’s game in Carolina to follow.
Flyers coach Peter Laviolette usually has his goalie rotation mapped out for such things but admits it is always subject to change.
Next weekend, the Flyers play back-to-back, as well with Phoenix and Detroit. It’s entirely possible Emery works both games this weekend so the staff can see how he handles it.
“There’s always thoughts going into something,” Laviolette said. “I’m not going to make it set in stone. I think we have thoughts on the way things should go or who might get into the lineup where or what goaltender might play.
“Everything is always open for change. But yeah, I have thoughts [on weekend] but I would not say it is set in stone.”
Because it was an optional skate, not every Flyer attended the morning session at Bell Centre.
Among the missing was center Vinny Lecavalier, a real downer for the French-speaking media who gravitate to him much like they did to Briere when he came here as a Flyer.
Lecavalier goes into tonight’s game with impressive numbers against Les Canadiens – 19 goals, 42 points in 53 career games.
“I really liked his line and the game they played [against Toronto],” Laviolette said. “We'll see results from that at some point.”
Told about Lecavalier’s numbers, he replied, “That’s good news. That’s great for Vinny and the Flyers if that’s the case. I think everybody loves to come to Montreal. It’s a great building, a great atmosphere for hockey.
“Even with my French name from Massachusetts, I enjoy coming here, as well. A U.S. kid doesn’t mind it. A lot of our guys feel like that about coming here.”
Lecavalier, who had a power-play assist in the season opener against Toronto, needs eight more assists to join the 500 club (lifetime).