After scoring his team-high fourth goal of the preseason in Tuesday night's 5-4 shootout loss to visiting Minnesota, Flyers veteran forward Danny Briere took a look into the future.
He likes what he sees.
"I think the mentality is probably different than last year," he said. "Last year, we were maybe a little overconfident, a little too loosey-goosey. Where, this year, there's a little bit of an attitude change."
Was that caused by getting eliminated by Pittsburgh in the first-round of last season's playoffs?
That was part of it, he acknowldeged.
Briere elaborated on the other part.
"I think we were just too comfortable last year with all the taps on the shoulders we got all over Canada and the U.S. about our play and making it to the third round" the previous season," said Briere, who seems fully recovered from groin and abdominal injuries that limited him to 29 games in 2008-09. "I think we got a little too comfortable.
"As a team, you have got to learn from that. I've been part of teams before that kind of the same thing happened. So you have to learn and come back strong. I think this year we'll definitely be ready."
Asked if the Flyers _ who finished the preseason with a 2-3-2 record _ were ready to take the next step to get past the Stanley Cup champion Penguins, Briere was blunt.
"Oh, there's no doubt in my mind that we're there," Briere said. "It's going to be a process; it's not something that's going to happen overnight. We believe we have the tools to build on that this year, but it's going to be up to us, the way we come together. But definitely we have the elements to make it happen."
The camp was highlighted by the emergence of three youngsters _ forwards Mika Pyorala and James van Riemsdyk and defenseman Danny Syvret _ and the brilliance of new goalie Ray "Razor" Emery (1.78 GAA; .943 save percentage).
.Breakaways. In last night's shootout loss, Johan Backlund (three goals on 13 shots) looked shaky in relief of Emery.....The Flyers' special teams were ragged; they were 0 for 4 on the PP, while Minnesota was 2 for 5...... Pyorala scored his third goal of the preseason and was the biggest surprise of camp. Pyorala, Mike Richards and Simon Gagne were each plus-two Tuesday.....The Flyers open the regular season in Carolina Friday.