Well, the first verbal shot has been fired in the Bruins-Philadelphia Eastern Conference semifinal series that doesn’t open until Saturday afternoon.
Today diminutive winger Daniel Briere was asked about the fact that Boston plans to use revenge for last year’s historic Flyers comeback from 0-3 down as motivation in the upcoming best-of-seven series.
“I mean, it goes both ways. They are going to use it as motivation, but we know we are in their head and that is going to be with them this whole series, so we are using it to our advantage as well,” he said. “We know that we can always come back, so we want to get off to a better start this time around and not spot them a 3-game lead though.”
A more serious blogger might not joke that Briere is one of the few players that could fit in another’s head. But this blog is not above that.
Nonetheless, let the verbal shots fly even before the physical ones do. Another Bruins-Flyers series promises to be even better than last spring’s. But Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette wasn’t buying the notion that last year will have an impact on this year.
“Are they going to play harder than they did last year because they … I don’t think it’s possible. You’re playing for the Stanley Cup. If you’re not unloading your tanks and putting all your eggs in one basket when something is happening originally the first time …” he said. “They’ve got a heck of a good hockey team. They were good last year, they were good this year. They had a great season and they are moved on to the second round just like we did.
“I think that everything will be determined by these two teams on the ice, how they play in a seven-game series. The one who plays more effectively will be the team that moves on, not necessarily based on what somebody says in the paper or a result from last year. That stuff is all secondary to me anyway. That’s the way I perceive it.”