Going back home to play for the local professional team is no easy task for a pro athlete, but when the hometown team happens to be the Montreal Canadiens it is easy to understand why a player may struggle or get off to a slow start to the season. In the case of 15-year NHL veteran Daniel Briere, the start of the 2013-14 season was a slow one which saw Briere failing to have a noticeable on ice impact for Les Habitants.
As if a slow start to the season were not burdensome enough, Briere would have to miss some time because of a concussion. Yet in some ways Briere benefited from having to miss time as he has found his form once he returned to the lineup on November 12. In eight games played during the month of November, Briere has scored three goals and had one assist credited to him as the Canadiens have won five of the eight games that Briere has played in this month.
As the Canadiens end the month with a game against the hated Toronto Maple Leafs, Briere and the Canadiens will be looking to finish on a positive note after having opened the month with a negative vibe. To just look at the numbers with Briere does not tell the whole story about his improved play since his return from his concussion. Unlike his play early in the season, Briere now looks comfortable on the ice with line mates Brian Gionta and Tomas Plekanec, and this has resulted in Briere doing a better job of getting himself in better shooting positions or helping set up his line mates to make a play by either shooting on goal or making an additional pass.
On Saturday night, Briere will get the chance to add to his scoring totals as the Canadiens will face a Maple Leafs team that has given up 15 goals in its last three games. Given that Briere is playing with some confidence at this moment, the game offers he and the Canadiens the opportunity to finish the month of November on a winning note and add the stat sheet in the process.
Lucas Carreras is a contributing NHL writer for RantSports.com. Lucas is also a contributing San Francisco 49ers and Soccer writer for RantSports. You can follow Lucas on Twitter by following him @maldini3fan and you can add him to your network on Google.