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January 24, 2007

Daniel Briere


MODERATOR: Questions for Daniel Briere?

Q. What are you going to do with the truck?
DANIEL BRIERE: I don't know. I heard I have to share with my teammates in Buffalo a week each. I'll start with that, then we'll figure out. If somebody is able to drive it back home, it's going to help, too.
I don't know yet. It's too early. I mean, I didn't have much time to think about it. My impression was that it was going to go to somebody on the winning team. So I didn't really think about it until I saw -- a few minutes before the announcement I saw all the cameras kind of leaning towards me and I thought, oh, well, maybe, maybe I have a chance, I don't know.
You know, I was coming here just to basically enjoy my week. I never thought I'd leave with the car.
But it's a fun feeling.

Q. Daniel, I don't know if you can elaborate on that a little bit more if it sunk in yet or if, like you say, it was a surprise to get it. You kind of got five sneaky points, and then just to win this thing after everything. And we had talked about earlier today getting waived and the whole thing. And now you're All-Star MVP?
DANIEL BRIERE: No, I don't think it's sunk in. I don't think I fully realize what's going on. One thing I can tell you is it's very exciting. I'm trying to enjoy every minute of it.
That was my goal coming into this week was just trying to enjoy my team here. I've grown up, I've watched a lot of All-Star games. Watch a lot of guys being named MVP. I never thought in the first place that I would ever get the chance to come here and play in the All-Star game.
So I feel fortunate just to be here this week and to win the MVP. I mean, I got help from guys around me tonight, playing with Heatley and Hossa and Chara finishing a few goals as well. To answer your question, no, I don't realize quite what's going on yet.

Q. If somebody told you before the game that the player from the East starting 3 is going to be an MVP, how much money would you put on yourself?
DANIEL BRIERE: Probably not much, obviously. With Sidney and Alex being the future faces of the NHL, you know, I was kind of the other guy with the two. But, you know what, I didn't care. I was just excited, first of all, to come to the All-Star game, to be named as a starter was something very special.
So I had fun. I played one shift early on with them to start the game. But I don't think it really matters who you play with here. There's so many talented players. You try to get them the puck and it happened to work.

Q. Daniel, did it help with your nerves and calm you down a little bit getting that quick goal right off the bat in the first period?
DANIEL BRIERE: You know what, I wasn't nervous at all to start the game. I was more nervous yesterday doing the skills knowing I was the first guy that had to do the relay obstacle course.
Probably more worried about being the only guy on the ice skating with somebody else, obviously, that everybody is focusing on and scared of falling or losing the puck or embarrassing yourself.
Today the whole day was so relaxed. Having the chance to chat before the game with the guys. We were all sitting there kind of laughing and making jokes. And it was a very relaxed atmosphere. And I wasn't nervous at all.
I was excited. I felt very excited and fortunate to be on the ice. But I wasn't nervous.
But obviously getting the first goal out of the way early on, you know, after that you're like, ah, this is cool. I can just go out there now and I don't have to force plays. I can just make the easy, effective plays.

Q. Daniel, only a few players in NHL history have had five or more points in an All-Star game. Can you just talk about enjoying that group and were you aware -- were you thinking about the six points, or what were your thoughts?
DANIEL BRIERE: No, I had no clue that six points was a record. Obviously, I mean, you know, when you're playing the game you know that you're getting assists when the guys are finishing.
I knew I was up to five. We were trying to catch up. But, no, it never -- it wasn't something that I thought about.
Like I said, I had no clue that six was a record or whatever it was.

Q. There was, of course, overhype by the media, we know that, but a lot was made of Ovechkin's hit on you earlier on in the season. Did you all talk about that prior to the game?
DANIEL BRIERE: What did you say? Sorry.

Q. A lot was said in the media about Ovechkin's hit on you earlier in the season in Washington?
DANIEL BRIERE: No, you know what, we both did things that we probably shouldn't have done. We both -- things that we regretted later on. But it's part of the game. It happens.
In the heat of the action sometimes plays happen so quick, so fast.
You might regret some things later on. I think the one thing that was important to both of us was realizing we didn't want to spend negative energy trying to get back at each other all year long or carry over to the next few years.
It's not what we do best on the ice. I don't think we're helping our team if we're trying to chase each other around the ice.
So we put it back, put it to rest. And I had a great time with him throughout the week.

Q. Daniel, two parts. First, for yourself, how do you think you can take an MVP performance into the second half of the season and use that as a springboard or whatever? And then, similarly, the fact that you had so many people represented here of the Sabres, how can this week be used to help you come playoff time?
DANIEL BRIERE: Well, it's more experience knowing some of the guys, knowing the way they are, their tendencies. It was so much fun fraternizing with the players with the NHL. I know for myself confidence-wise, it's great to realize that I'm part of that group, that group that I've been admiring for so many years growing up and even when I was in the NHL.
So for all three of us, me, Ryan Miller and Brian Campbell, it was our first experience. So maybe we're able to build off that, but at the same time a game like tonight I don't think is going to change anything of the way we play on the ice.
But the whole week might help us confidence-wise.

Q. Daniel, if you need help driving the truck back to Buffalo, I can cancel my flight. But did your nose get out of joint at all this week just in a little way maybe privately when people were talking about the three starting forwards for the East, that the two kids were mentioned much more prominently than you, and, of course, you end up getting MVP tonight, were you motivated?
DANIEL BRIERE: You know what, for me it was just exciting to be on the starting lineup with those two guys, the two guys that are the future face of the NHL.
I felt fortunate to be named with even if they referred to me as the other guy on the line, I didn't care. It was just so exciting to be here.
Like I said before, I'm coming from a long way out. A few years ago I was put on waivers and no team picked me up. So I never thought that one day I'd have the chance to be here.
So to be named on top of that to the starting lineup, it was just unbelievable for me.
So I came in here just trying to enjoy the whole week. Maybe what happened earlier in my career makes me appreciate a lot what's going on right now, because I know I'm very lucky to still be playing hockey in the NHL.

Q. Daniel, you had a very hectic Monday of travel. Were you able -- were you able to shut that down right away and have some fun or did it take a while to catch your breath?
DANIEL BRIERE: There has been or there was a lot of frustration on Monday, until I got here.
The moment I got here, one of the ladies stopped me, wouldn't let me get to the dressing room because I didn't have my pass to get by. And then after I got through that then everything was all good. Having a chance to make it just in time for practice and to be there for the team picture.
From that moment on, that's when everything kind of turned around and now it's been a special week, something I'll remember for a very long time.

Q. Daniel, congratulations. Obviously with Lindy coaching, did you have any input there on telling him what line you wanted to play on?
DANIEL BRIERE: His two sons were calling out the lines there at the end. So we had to give him a hard time a few times, they cut our shifts a little short. But it was fun. It was fun having Lindy there.
I think for our team, you know, it just shows where we're at as a team, having a chance to have three starters, head coach being there. We had one of our trainers around that's been around our team for a long, long time.
So it's mostly -- it's response to the way we've been playing. So it's a lot of fun, too, having a chance to share it with teammates. It's like winning a scoring title or an MVP like it happened tonight. But when you come here and you get to share with your teammates, it's even better.
MODERATOR: Thanks very much.

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