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Bringing Back Old Memories

Tuesday, 02.20.2007 / 12:00 AM / News
By Brian Wheeler  - Sabres.com
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Bringing Back Old Memories
Buffalo Sabres co-captain Daniel Briere looked around at the different line combinations during practice and couldn't help but notice the obvious. His line was the only one that didn't have a stranger skating on it.

While Briere was cruising around the ice at HSBC Arena on Monday and Tuesday flanked by Jochen Hecht and Jason Pominville, the remainder of the Sabres were playing "get to know my linemate."

"It feels like a different team a little bit," joked Briere of the Sabres recent call-ups.

Multiple injuries have led to Buffalo's overhauled roster and promotion of Drew Stafford, Clarke MacArthur and Michael Ryan from the Rochester Americans.

With so much youth in the locker room, Briere, 29, couldn't help but think of the days when he wasn't sure his name would appear on the lineup card.

Briere began his career, following four years with Dummondville of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, in the Phoenix Coyotes' farm system with the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League in 1997-98.

Like the trio recalled in the past week, he received his first opportunity in the NHL by way of injuries. Another player's misfortunate was his windfall, and he appeared in his first NHL game against Colorado in America West Arena the day after he was assigned to Phoenix on March 18, 1998.

"I try to put myself back when I started," said Briere, who is a veteran of 428 games over eight seasons. "There was a lot of excitement but at the same time I was so nervous. You're afraid to make a mistake or embarrass yourself. You're thinking you are making the team lose."

Briere understands the mental strain on a prospect that is not only trying to make a contribution to the team, but assimilate himself to a new environment. His career was anything but a smooth ascension to an NHL starter, as Briere spent five seasons fighting to stay in the league before being waived by the Coyotes during the 2000-01 season.

That vulnerability taught the Gatineau, Quebec native a valuable lesson that he willingly will pass along.

"Your first game only happens once," said Briere, who scored his first goal in his second career game. "After that, you have to relax and have fun. If you want to stick around, you can't play scared, you can't be nervous all the time. You have to enjoy yourself and play relaxed, the way you were playing before.

"There was a reason that [Stafford, MacArthur and Ryan] got here. It's because they were playing well in Rochester."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82