2011 NHL All-Star Game Interviews

Published on January 31st, 2011

Interview with Danny Briere at the NHL All-Star Game in Raleigh

With Fran Rubert

Center Ice was able to catch up with Flyers All-Star Danny Briere after the NHL Fantasy All-star team draft and got his thoughts on being selected.

Danny Briere

Center Ice: A little different twist on the All-star game selection this year with the draft; how was that?

Danny Briere: It was very exciting and honestly I did not know what to think; at first I just thought I would just sit there and wait for your name to get picked but it was nerve racking sitting there, looking up to the stage and everything and I couldn’t wait to finally get my name being called out.  It was a lot of fun; I think it was a very interesting night.

Center Ice: The team had a great run in the playoffs last year, you have a good team this year; what has been the difference this year?

Danny Briere: A little bit of everything; I think the depth is amazing and our team is very tough to match up with because we have three scoring lines that could be number one lines on a lot of teams.  We don’t really have a superstar like a Crosby or Ovechkin that is going to take a game over but we come at you in different ways and I think because of that we are a tough team to match up against at home or on the road.

Center Ice: Did it take a while for the team to adjust to the system when your new coach came in last year?

Danny Briere: Yeah it is like anything else we needed some time to adapt to it; he changed everything when he came on board.  At first it was quite the change; we came from a system that was a lot more passive to Peter’s system that is an aggressive system that is always on the go, always skating; so that was an adjustment.  This year it seems to be working; I think we have a team that fits into the system well.

Claude Giroux

Claude Giroux in the locker room after the All-Star skills contest

Center Ice: Is it tough with a lot of different guys to try to get involved as much?

Claude Giroux: I am just happy to be here.  It is special to watch the other guys, to shoot that hard is pretty impressive (Zdeno Chara broke his own record in the hardest shot competition shooting the puck 105.8 mph);  I am with the best players in the world and I feel privileged to be here.

Center Ice: Are you then ready to block some shots?

Claude Giroux: No that is not what I am saying but if I have to I will.  I am still a young guy and I am still learning every day.  When you come to these kinds of events obviously you learn.  I think all of the guys are pretty excited when we go back and hopefully go right back at it.

Center Ice: What do you think about your career these past few years?

Claude Giroux: You get a chance to play in an All-Star game you feel pretty lucky; I feel pretty lucky because we have a lot of good players that should have been here also.  Just to be picked is a great honor; I thought I would never be able to be here; it is just amazing to be here.

Center Ice: Has it been a matter of self confidence in your progress as a player?

Claude Giroux: Yeah I think when you are young you just learn everyday and I am lucky to have some good leaders in the room like Pronger, Timonen, Briere and all of those guys.  Anytime you get players like that show you the way it makes you a better hockey player and a better person off the ice.

Center Ice: What has been the change in your team from last year that has helped you as a player, your coach maybe?

Claude Giroux: Well when you have a coach that has won the Stanley Cup, he just knows how to win games and when you have a coach like that you want to win as bad as he does.  It just makes you play better.

Center Ice: Is it nice to have this little break this time of the year?

Claude Giroux: Yes, we had a little meeting before we left and I think it is important for the guys to get some rest; I think there is not one guy on the team who is not excited about the rest of the season; that is what it is all about, the playoffs, especially from last year you get more hungry; we were so close last year it just makes you want more.

Center Ice: Do you think you are better prepared than last year?

Claude Giroux: Last year I think the only guy that went to the Stanley Cup before was  Pronger and now the whole team has been there.  We were not too sure what to expect and stuff; obviously we learned a lot and hopefully that experience can bring it for the rest of the season.

Patrick Sharp

At the Red Carpet walk Center Ice had a chance to talk with former Flyer, now with the Chicago Blackhawks, Patrick Sharp

Center Ice: Last year you played against your former team in the finals, how was that?

Patrick Sharp: It was a little weird playing them in the finals, with a lot of emotions but I have no hard feelings against the organization; I have nothing but good things to say about Bobby Clarke and Paul Holmgren.  I really enjoyed my time playing there; it was surreal winning the Cup in their building; I had all those good memories as being a Flyer.

Center Ice: What really turned it around for you in Chicago?

Patrick Sharp: I think it was a number of reasons; I think I was one of those players that got better every year in professional hockey; I did not get off to the fastest start; I was an 18 or 19 year old kid but hopefully I have a few more years.

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