Danny Briere: “I Was Trying To Protect Us”
And you can’t kill the guy for playing Mr. Brightside. Especially not if he’s Mr. Playoffs.
Still, maybe Danny Briere shouldn’t have been feeding the team a through-a-rosy-lens look at how this series was going to shake out and why, taking a patient and encouraging and understanding tone like he describes here…
“I think the power plays cost us the game tonight, all around.
“I was trying to protect (us) the first two games, saying that good things were going to happen and it was just a matter of time. But the last two games, the all-around effort on the power play’s just not good enough.”
…when maybe he should’ve been a little firmer, sterner, more rigid all along, kinda how he was here…
“It seems like we just think that they’re going to let us do whatever we want out there. Their penalty kill unit is outworking us by a mile. It’s the reason why we lost the last two games. If the power play is hungry, it’s a different story. We could be up three-games-to-none instead of being down two-one.”
“The 10 or 12 guys who are on the power play — it’s time to step up here now, and want to be out there.
“It’s an honor to be out there, and right now, we take it for granted.”
Which, honestly, could totally and truthfully be said about just about everybody on the squad — except Briere, who logged his 107th (on a first-period assist to Brayden Schenn) and 108th (on a third-period goal to send it into the extra period) points in just 106 career postseason games Thursday. Though, I guess that’s kind the hallmark of bona fide leadership, rolling yourself in with the mess when you’re the only one making any effort to keep the team clean.
And for those of you highbrowing here, wondering whether Briere’s coming down a little too harshly on the Orange and Black, rest assured, he’s not clobbering their egos for the sake of so doing. No, no — it’s all under an umbrella of motivation, which you can gather no more than from the uptick he ends on here:
“There’s no doubt in my mind that we’re still in it and that we can still win.
“We raised our desperation a little bit from last game. But not nearly good enough to where it should be.
“There’s too many little parts — and power plays being one of them — where we’re just too casual, and not hungry enough.”
That said, here’s to Armani cuff links and mass, pregame fasting
(This article was written by Matt Hammond, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)