Before Game 1 of the Philadelphia Flyers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins series, few would have expected some of the smallest players on the ice to have such a huge impact. After game one, it appears that Danny Briere and Brayden Schenn will be the Batman and Robin duo who will win the series for the Flyers.
It was not a surprise that Danny Briere had a big game in the playoffs; it is something he has done plenty of times throughout his career. The surprise of the game was how well Briere’s 20-year-old linemate, Brayden Schenn, played.
The Flyers and Penguins series was expected by everyone to be a very physical series, and Game 1 proved that with a total of 74 hits.
Briere is only 5’ 10” and 170 pounds. His linemate Schenn is not much bigger at 6’ 0” and 190 pounds. Both players are not the most physically intimidating players on the ice, but their small size forces them to play with an edge.
Briere returned to the lineup for Game 1 after sitting out the last week of the season with a back injury that he suffered against the Penguins. Coming off of injury, it was uncertain if Briere would be able to contribute at a high level.
Game one was Brayden Schenn’s first playoff experience. At 20 years old, Schenn is very young and inexperienced at the NHL level.
The Flyers put themselves in a big hole during the first period. When the second period started, Briere and Schenn started to take over the game. The pair of small forwards seemed to find a second wind and started to out-skate and outwork the Penguins.
Briere skated with an intensity that proved that his injury was not a problem. Schenn provided a physical presence that would be expected from a player twice his size.
Over the course of his career, Briere has always been one of the smallest players on the ice, but has always been a huge factor in the playoffs. Putting Schenn with Briere was an excellent choice because Schenn can learn a lot from his linemate. The pairing allows Schenn to be the Robin to Batman Briere.
The two small players, who earn success by never quitting and always working harder, were exactly what the Flyers needed in Game 1. When the Flyers fell behind 3-0, Briere and Schenn were exactly what the team needed to get back in the game.
Briere and Schenn used the "never quit, never give up" attitude that got them to where they are in their careers to bring the Flyers back.
Moving forward in the series, it is likely that Briere and Schenn will continue to have success. They play with a style that is hard to stop.
The duo has success by working harder, and just having a greater will to win than their opponents. Batman and Robin are two normal people who become superheros and do more than a normal person can do. Briere and Schenn are also two normal players who by hard work and determination are able to achieve more and lead the Flyers to a series win.