Rusnak: Holiday schedule approaches; Briere struggles

Jessica Rusnak,

12/18/2013 2:09:05 PM

The Montreal Canadiens head out to St Louis and Nashville for their final road trip before the Holiday break.

This year the Canadiens are lucky when it comes to the holiday schedule, they have six days off during that stretch.

"Never had a schedule like that before, but we'll take it" Rene Bourque said prior to leaving for St Louis.

After starting the month of December strong with four consecutive wins, the Habs had a difficult time in their last five games going 2-3-0, but Michel Therrien feels his team is moving in the right direction.

"We've won two of the last three games and that's great for building our team's confidence," he said.

One of the challenges Therrien is facing right now is what to do with Daniel Briere. Briere has been held off the scoresheet for the past seven games and has recorded only five goals and five assists in 26 games. The Canadiens signed Briere during the off season to a two-year-deal worth $8 million.

Therrien said last week that he expects more from him.

"Daniel's a great guy and I know he wants to produce more, but at a certain point I need to do what's best for the team," Therrien said after practice. This comes after Briere earned only 4:27 minutes of ice time last game against the Phoenix Coyotes.

The only other time Briere played less was on October 19 when he left the game against the Nashville Predators early after suffering a concussion.

At the Canadiens practice,Briere was centering the fourth line with Michael Bournival and Travis Moen. Therrien would not confirm if this is the line-up he will use going into Thursday night's game in St Louis, but he feels Briere has been given ample opportunity.