With plenty of time over the last week, Danny Briere went back and reviewed the video of his Jan. 21 game in New Jersey, hoping for some sort of clue as to who or what delivered the knockout punch that has him sitting out with a concussion.
Most players would look for the culprit and write down his number for their next matchup.
Others would cry foul, wondering why a certain hit wasn’t up for supplementary discipline.
Speaking on Tuesday for the first time since that game, Briere was just disappointed with himself.
“The thing that’s frustrating is that I have survived 15 years in this league by protecting myself from those hits,” Briere said on. “I was disappointed in myself that I didn’t see him coming. That’s part of my game, I’m usually able to protect myself.”
Briere said he isn’t sure, but he believes that Anton Volchenkov delivered the big hit along the boards that caused the most damage in the closing minutes. Volchenkov also hit him a few other times in the game.
“There were a few that I got bumped around and hit my head, I don’t know if it’s a culmination of those hits and the final blow at the end, but I know it was the last one that left me losing my balance,” Briere said.
The bad news is that Briere has experienced headaches as recently as Monday. When the Flyers host Winnipeg on Tuesday night, it will be the third game in a row that Briere has missed.
Briere was able to rest during the All-Star break, saying he took his three boys to their hockey games and stayed off the ice. He has since steadily progressed, first exercising on Sunday, skating in half of Monday’s practice, and pushing it in Tuesday’s morning skate by doing sprints with scratches Andreas Lilja, Harry Zolnierczyk and fellow concussed forward James van Riemsdyk.
Van Riemsdyk, who has been out a week longer than Briere, declined to speak to the media.
Briere also passed a concussion baseline test on Monday, and while that is encouraging, it doesn't necessarily mean anything. Still, his progress has continued each day.
“I’m feeling better and better every day,” Briere said. “That’s the thing with concussions, you just have to hope for the best. You never know from one day to the next what it’s going to bring.”
This is not Briere’s first concussion, though, this is the first time he’s dealt with starting after effects.
“It’s something new,” Briere said. “I’ve had a few, but this is the first time I’ve had to deal with symptoms starting on the next day. I’ve been fortunate that I didn’t have to deal with the symptoms in the past. You have to wait and hope the next day will be good and you’re still symptom free.”
Even with these new symptoms, Briere said he has kept a positive attitude. He’s watched Sidney Crosby and teammate Chris Pronger have their seasons put in jeopardy because of head trauma, yet he said he is not scared about missing games for any extended length of time.
“I’m very confident that it’s going to take a little time,” Briere said. “I’m confident that I will get through that. To be honest, I haven’t thought that this would get worse. I try to stay positive, I try to focus on the next day and what I’m going to do. I’m trying to focus and take it to the next day to try and push it to the next level so I can get back in the lineup.”
As of now, we still don’t have an answer when that will be.
TONIGHT’S LINEUP: Ilya Bryzgalov will start against Winnipeg … With Danny Briere out of the lineup, Ben Holmstrom – who was re-called from Adirondack on Monday – will play center against the Jets. Tom Sestito, Jody Shelley will be in the lineup … No word yet on Zac Rinaldo's status ... Andreas Lilja and Harry Zolnierczyk will be healthy scratches.