PHILADELPHIA -- Daniel Briere knows having Chris Pronger in the Philadelphia lineup would be a boost. He also knows the dominant defenseman won't be playing for at least Game One tonight against Buffalo.
Briere says Pronger's absence doesn't give Philadelphia an excuse to struggle.
"That’s an easy excuse," Briere said following the Flyers' morning skate in Wells Fargo Center. "We’re not going to use Chris Pronger as an excuse. We started the year without him and we were successful. He got hurt midway through the year and we kept rolling. Yes, we struggled down the stretch, but that’s not his fault. It’s not because he wasn’t in the lineup. We just needed to play better.
"That’s going to be the same thing in this series. If he comes back, great, it’s going to be a huge boost to our team. But at the same time, we should be able to perform the same way without him."
Briere reiterated that playing his former team provides some motivation -- for his first comments on the subject buy today's print edition of The Buffalo News because the stories aren't online -- but he says the playoffs themselves are motivation enough.
"The people that didn’t want me there are gone, so there’s not really any animosity in that regard," he said in regard to former owners Tom Golisano and Larry Quinn. "There’s a little extra motivation, I guess. That’s easy to find. But it doesn’t really matter when you start the playoffs. ... It doesn’t matter who you play. The motivation’s going to be there no matter what, so I’m definitely excited about it."
The audio of Briere's chat is below.