Grading the 2010 Flyers: Danny Briere

PHILADELPHIA - MAY 12: Danny Briere #48 of the Philadelphia Flyers scores at 16:20 o0f the second period against Tuukka Rask #40 of the Boston Bruins in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Finals at the Wachovia Center on May 12, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Grade:  B
09/10 Salary: $8 million
10/11 Cap Hit: $6.5 million
10/11 Salary: $7 million
Linemates: 41.75% Jeff Carter & Scott Hartnell
Depth Chart Ranking: #2 Center

[ Hockey Reference Player Page ]

2009 - Danny Briere 75 26 27 53 -2 71 8 1 16:35 44.2 193 13.5

TOI/60 QualComp QualTeam G/60 PTS/60 GFON/60 GAON/60 OZS% Fen% Cor% PTake/60 PDraw/60
AdvancedStats 12.94 0.030 -0.032 0.87 1.98 2.84 2.72 56.5 0.535 0.535 1.4 1.4

To kick off the player reviews, one of the Flyers playoff heroes gets the nod.  For a welcome change, the story of Danny Briere's 2010 season is one of redemption and not whether he lived up to his contract.  While his regular season numbers appear rather pedestrian, the diminutive forward quieted his critics by scoring 30 points in 23 playoff games, finishing a plus-9.  He certainly had his bad moments (Game 1 in Boston comes to mind) but he always responded with a huge goal.

Jump for further analysis.

Looking beyond his pedestrian regular season numbers, his peripheral stats show he had a pretty solid year.  He played against above average competition with below average teammates and still put up nearly two points per 60 minutes of even-strength time on ice.  And even though he benefited from a favorable zone-start, he still was able to out-shoot and out-score the opposition. 

Obviously, there are still negatives to Briere's season.  For instance, this marked the 4th straight year of declining production for the highly-paid pivot.  His goals per game have steadily dropped from 0.40 to 0.35 while his points per game have fallen from 1.21 to 0.71 over the past 4 years.  In addition, only Scott Hartnell took more minor penalties than Briere throughout the season.  Even when he doesn't get penalized, he still finds a way to get suspended.  Unfortunately, Briere's "little-man syndrome" probably isn't going away.

Going forward, part of the problem could have been Briere playing on the wing.  With Jeff Carter going down with an injury, Briere was able to get back in the middle and he quite simply excelled.  The chemistry he found with Scott Hartnell and Ville Leino was plainly visible and hopefully the team keeps them together next season.  And seeing as how Briere never went more than 5 games without a point last year, he should look to improve on his above-average season this past year.

How would you grade Briere's season?

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