The plan for Danny Briere's return was to play him on the fourth line, get him back in games and then start thinking about where he really fits with the Flyers.

No knock on NHL fourth-line players; teams that have effective players throughout their 12 forwards are usually the most successful.

But Briere is not a fourth-line player. Just what he is right now is a little up in the air with the way the Flyers' current top two centers, Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, are playing.

That's what John Stevens was trying to figure out yesterday.

"Our plan was, we had four games in 6 nights and we wanted to get him through that, get his legs under him and go from there. And we did that," the coach said.

"Most signs are that Danny is doing good and has started to get his legs under him and now it's time to go from there."

Just what "from there" actually means will become more evident today in practice. Stevens spent yesterday meeting with his coaches and watching game film of Buffalo while the players took a day to rest.

The coaches had their line charts out and they were looking at ways to mix things up and move Briere into a different situation.

"We're still talking about some different things and we are looking at some different line combinations, we're looking to get some more balance throughout our four forward lines," Stevens said.

"[Briere] looks like his legs are underneath him. I thought he did some good things in Detroit and that's what we were hoping for," he said. "We're looking at moving both Dannys, Carcillo and Briere."

Snap shots

Randy Jones received a cortisone shot in his sore right hip yesterday and the Flyers are hoping that will get him back on the bench.

Jones strained his hip Sunday in New York. It is a concerning injury since he missed the first 3 months of the season recovering from surgery to that hip.

"He got treatment [yesterday] and then he had a cortisone injection in the affected area," said Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren. "We'll have a better idea of how he's doing tomorrow.

"He probably won't skate until Friday but if he feels better [today] I think that's probably a good sign."

Weekend in Buffalo

Two Philadelphia youths who participate in the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation have been invited to compete in the first-ever Willie O'Ree Skills Showcase, hosted by Hasek's Heroes in Buffalo this weekend.

Eddie Kulb, 16, of the city's Kensington section, and Nick Wilson, 13, of West Philadelphia, will compete in skating, passing and shooting competitions with 28 youths from other NHL diversity programs during the 3-day event. They also will attend Friday's Flyers-Sabres game at HSBC Arena.

"We are thrilled to be able to deliver once-in-a-lifetime opportunities such as these to our participants," Snider said. "These two young men are very deserving of this honor, and we are very excited to see them compete with others from around the NHL." *