Oct 15, 2013, 11:36 AM EDT
According to Briere, he knows what message is being sent.
“Michel [Therrien, head coach] has said it from the start that this is the way it’s going to go,” Briere told the Montreal Gazette. “There are some guys who have stepped up early and they deserve the ice time. In my case, I’ve always been something of a slow starter.
“Right now, I’m getting caught on the outside and it’s up to me to get back in.”
Briere, 36, has just one assist through five games while averaging nearly 16 minutes per night.
What’s curious is that despite his claims, Briere hasn’t historically been a slow starter. Consider this tweet from NHL.com’s Arpon Basu as evidence:
#Habs Brière’s starts: 09-10: 5 G 2 A first 8 GP 10-11: 6 G 2 A 9 GP 11-12: 4 G 6 A 10 GP 12-13: 2 G 2 A 11 GP Not so bad until last season
— Arpon Basu (@ArponBasu) October 14, 2013
The way Therrien sees it, the decision to demote isn’t so much about Briere as it is the players around him. Montreal has a number of forwards playing well at the moment — Lars Eller, Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher are all at least point-per-game guys thus far — and the reward of playing well is added ice time.
Vice versa for those not playing well.
“We have a lot of depth with our forwards, especially with our wingers,” Therrien explained. “We have to take some decisions and we made a decision to put Daniel on the fourth line.”
In related news, the Habs will get captain Brian Gionta back tonight vs. the Jets after he missed Saturday’s 4-1 win in Vancouver dealing with a personal matter.
- Blues finish night on top of NHL standings after shootout win 0
- Kings’ Nolan gets double-minor for punching Oilers’ Joensuu 15
- Extended overtime likely to be on agenda in GMs’ March meeting 30
- Lundqvist shuts out Red Wings to claim 300th victory 10
- NHL on NBCSN: Hawks know they can’t take Sabres lightly 10
- NHL on NBC: Red Wings, Rangers fight to cling onto playoff spots 2
- Video: Flames score center-ice goal against Canucks’ Lack 19
- Stars believe Lehtonen suffered concussion from Haula collision (update) 23
- Video: Stars retire Mike Modano’s jersey 11
- Rostislav Klesla passes on joining Sabres organization following trade 12
- Canucks trade Luongo to Panthers (93)
- BLOCKBUSTER: Lightning trade St. Louis to Rangers for Callahan (82)
- Kings make splash, acquire Gaborik from Columbus (72)
- Report: Canucks want center, top prospect and first-rounder for Kesler (68)
- Steve Moore remains shocked, disgusted about Todd Bertuzzi attack (66)