A familiar face is back in the Philadelphia Flyers lineup tonight. According to the team’s Twitter page, Danny Briere will be making his first appearance of the 2012-13 NHL season. He had previously missed the first four games of the season with a fracture of his wrist he suffered while playing over in Germany.
The 35 year old partook in a full practice early Saturday before the Flyers game against the Florida Panthers. He had told reporters he was nearing a return, but nothing seemed imminent until the Flyers sent Eric Wellwood down to the Adirondack Phantoms. Although he was listed as a game time decision, there was little doubt Briere wouldn’t take the ice in Sunrise, Florida.
The 14 year NHL veteran said he had no issue shooting the puck, but could not take faceoffs. In order to protect him, Ruslan Fedotenko will be taking faceoffs, while Briere will play on the left wing. Mike Knuble will be playing right wing on that line. His minutes will certainly be limited, as he has not seen game action since late December with Eisbaren Berlin, where he played during the lockout. However, his presence on the ice will certainly be welcomed. Philadelphia has been just 2-8 on the power play this season, which is sixth worst in the league. Briere’s ability to impact the man advantage with his vicious shot from the point will certainly be a game changer.
However, the Flyers must hope that Briere’s wrist injury does not worsen, as their depth at the Center position is already limited.
Jake Pavorsky is a contributor for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JakePavorsky.