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Briere on Philly fans: 'I try to defend them'
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Surely you’ve heard it all before. Philadelphia can be a tough place to be an athlete.

There’s an immense pressure on the city’s teams. Passion borders on psychosis here. It was the fans and media, after all, who drove Mike Richards and Jeff Carter out of town.

Be that as it may, Philly’s got one big defender in Danny Briere.

“For all the critics that you hear, about being bad fans, the Santa Claus thing, I try to defend [Flyers fans] as much as possible,” Briere said. “Because I know the other side and how supportive they are of their teams and their players.”

Fans were certainly supportive of Briere on Thursday night. The ex-Flyer was in town for the first time since the Flyers bought out his contract as a member of the Montreal Canadiens. Fans brought posters, crowded around the visiting team’s tunnel and cheered loudly when Briere was announced as a starter for the Canadiens.

None of it was lost on the player who spent six seasons in Philadelphia.

“All I can say is: Thank you for all the good memories,” Briere said. “It was a great ride. This place is special to me, it’s going to stay my home. I had a great time.”