Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Briere cautiously optimistic about new-look Flyers

 During the preseason, the new-look Flyers have compiled a 4-1-1 record and developed some chemistry on their lines and their rejuvenated power play.

Briere cautiously optimistic about new-look Flyers

    During the preseason, the new-look Flyers have compiled a 4-1-1 record and developed some chemistry on their lines and their rejuvenated power play.

    “It’s looking good now, but I think the dangerous part is to make sure we don’t get too excited too quick,” veteran center Danny Briere said after Friday’s practice in Voorhees. “We have to realize there’s still lots of work ahead of us, that this is just preseason.”

    The Flyers will end their exhibition schedule Saturday night in New Jersey.

    “I think we’ve played really good hockey, which is good to see, but at the same time, you want to stay at an even keel,” Briere said. “You don’t  want to get too comfortable, too confident. It’s good to build some confidence, but not be too full of ourselves.”

    Briere acknowledged he was “a little surprised” at how quickly some of the new players have fit into the team. Among the newcomers who have impressed: Jaromir Jagr, Wayne Simmonds, Jakub Voracek, Matt Read and Sean Couturier.

    Entering Friday, Jagr and Simmonds led the NHL in the preseason with four goals each; Jagr also was tops with three power-play goals.

    “One of Jaromir’s strengths is to find the holes; his whole career has been built on that, and he’s still good at getting open _ and we saw it throughout training camp,” Briere said. “But you don’t want to get too high too quick because you’re playing (against) a lot of young kids that sometimes make those mistakes a lot more than older veterans.

    “But it’s good to see. I’d rather it be that way, where we have something to look forward to and build on than having to fight through frustration and disappointment.”

      Goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, after a pair of so-so performances, was sharp as he stopped 17 of 18 shots in 1½ periods as the Flyers edged the Devils, 2-1, on Thursday. Bryzgalov will play the entire game on Saturday in New Jersey, coach Peter Laviolette said.

    “It seems he’s getting more and more comfortable,” Briere said. “He’s a big guy. He takes up a lot of room and when you’re coming down, you don’t see a lot of net. And Bob (Sergei Bobrovsky) has looked great, also. It’s very exciting going into a season where there’s really no question mark there. We know who they are and what they will give us.”

  Among goalies who have made at least two preseason appearances, Bobrovsky leads the NHL with a 0.40 GAA and .984 save percentage.

   * * *

    Chris Pronger said he felt no ill effects from playing in Thursday’s exhibition, and he is on target to be in the lineup for Thursday’s opener. He will not play in Saturday’s exhibition.

    Pronger, 36, said he felt "excellent," and later added his back was "a little creaky getting up this morning, but I think it might just be age."

   The veteran defenseman wore a blue T-shirt that read: I'm right 97% of the time. Who cares about the other 4%?



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Sam Carchidi Inquirer Staff Writer
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