Another concussion plagues the Flyers.
According to an official team release on Saturday, forward James van Riemsdyk is ruled out “indefinitely” with a concussion.
“James was hit in the head in each of our last two games,” general manager Paul Holmgren said in the release. “He reported yesterday, not feeling like himself. He will be out indefinitely with a concussion.”
The injury is expected to have been suffered on Tuesday in Carolina against the Hurricanes then re-aggravated on Thursday against the New York Islanders. However, JVR did receive an illegal chicken-wing elbow from Ottawa’s Bobby Butler three games ago on Jan. 8.
Van Riemsdyk only played 10:32 of ice time against the Islanders on Thursday and was extremely limited toward the end of the contest.
With 11 goals and 11 assists in 37 games this season, van Riemsdyk is expected to be replaced by Zac Rinaldo for Saturday night’s contest against the Nashville Predators.
The Flyers’ left-winger has been the subject of rampent trade rumors, which could be halted with the new of this injury. The NHL trade deadline is Feb. 27, at 3 P.M.
The framework of the rumored deal that has the Flyers sending winger James van Riemsdyk to the Toronto Maple Leafs for physical defenseman Luke Schenn, makes financial and positional sense for each team.
But solid theory is about where that rumor stalls.
According to TSN’s connected trade-breaker, Darren Dreger, the Flyers and Leafs have had conversations involving a move and that Leafs general manager Brian Burke deeply covets van Riemsdyk for his size and potential.
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It’s not a secret that 22-year-old James van Riemsdyk isn’t having the season that many, including the Flyers, expected after inking a six-year, $25.5-million contract this offseason.
And it seems that as the weather gets colder, so does the forward’s production.
With another goose egg on Monday against the Colorado Avalanche, van Riemsdyk’s scoreless streak has hit eight games, not counting his oh-so-nasty shootout goal that had Flyers fans wondering where that JVR, the one with silky smooth hands, was hiding.
In a four-game stretch without leading scorer Claude Giroux, a time in which the Flyers needed him the most, van Riemsdyk came up short, registering just one primary assist and a secondary helper. Lacking the extra gear to his game that impressed so thoroughly during the 2011 postseason, JVR continued his longest drought of the season, going oh-for-December.
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For one night, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren can relax.
With a defensive-minded and perfectly-executed 2-1 road win against the defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins on Thursday at TD Garden, the young Flyers made the mad scientist GM look like a genius.
His plan came together.
“It’s a new team and like I said, it was pretty exciting to see everybody working hard and everybody working together,” said Claude Giroux, who scored the team’s first goal. “The attitude was great out there.”
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Midway through the third period with the Boston Bruins and Flyers locked at two, the orange-clad Philadelphia crowd that filled Wells Fargo Center scrapped the U.S.A. chants that started the contest in favor off a more topical and rousing abbreviation — J.V.R.
To say that James van Riemsdyk was impressive in Game 2 would be an understatement. Scoring two early goals and pacing the Flyers’ spirited attack throughout, the 21-year-old seemed to have an awaken. Jetting into the zone, cornering defenders and powering to the crease, all while taking double shifts, was not just an errant good game — it looked more like the coming of age of a superstar.
“I think it’s just the experience and the confidence to have been in the playoffs before and learned from the guys that are such great playoff performers,” van Riemsdyk said.
f four Game 7’s in the 2011 playoffs have proven anything, it’s that there is extreme parity in the NHL.
Prior to Tuesday’s Game 7 beat down in Philadelphia, that was no more evident than the seventh seed Buffalo Sabres and second seed Flyers who separated by just one goal. Aside from goaltending, the difference between the two teams was almost non-existent — until the final game.
The game changer? The Flyers came armed with big guns.
“When we need to have a big game, the bigger the game the bigger the players that we have,” Mike Richards said. “Danny [Briere], Kimmo [Timonen], [Chris Pronger], and Claude [Giroux] step up and it’s nice to see that we have confidence when we play in big games.”
After missing Sunday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks with a slight groin pull, Flyers winger James van Riemsdyk practiced on Monday but will likely remain out for Tuesday’s home contest against the Montreal Canadiens, general manager Paul Holmgren told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Dan Carcillo, who missed Monday’s practice for personal reasons, is expected to remain activated in JVR’s spot. Carcillo has two goals and one assist in just 27 games this season.
JVR’s injury was not deemed serious. However, with just one game in the next seven days, thanks to the NHL All-Star break, receiving maximum healing time, while also giving Carcillo an opportunity to contribute, was likely the reason for holding JVR out of the lineup.
JVR has 12 goals and 11 assists in 44 games this season.
The 5-1 rout against the Ottawa Senators on Monday at the Wells Fargo Center, wasn’t without casualty for the red-hot Flyers.
After missing a hit in second period of the then close contest, Flyers’ forward Dan Carcillo dropped to all fours. He was helped off the ice and didn’t return to the game. The team officially called it a lower body injury, with GM Paul Holmgren saying the truculent fourth-liner would miss two weeks with a sprained MCL.
No call ups are expected. However, with James van Riemsdyk filling in for injured Andreas Nodl (toe), the Flyers may have to play down a forward when the team faces the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday. There is no word yet on if Nodl will dress.
Carcillo has two points and 39 penalty minutes in 14 games this season.
Amid offensive inconsistency the past two games, in which the Flyers have only scored a total of four goals, coach John Stevens has mixed up the lines once again in an attempt to capture some depth production.
“It’s more because of lack of production,” said Stevens. “We had a three lines before that could all score and a fourth that could chip in and we liked the feel of it better.”
With rookie forward James van Riemsdyk on the shelf with concussion symptoms for the past week, coach John Stevens made the decision to stick creative winger Claude Giroux on the team’s top line centered by Mike Richards. The idea was to not only spark Giroux’s production but to get struggling Simon Gagne more scoring chances in hopes that he would break out of his post groin injury slump (three assists in five games).
The unconfirmed belief was that Giroux would return to centering the third line once JVR returned, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.