We’ve been checking in on James van Riemsdyk throughout the
season, tracking his inevitable development into an All Star now that the
Flyers have given up on him. This time however it appears JVR has stumbled across
a road block.
When we last took a peek, van Riemsdyk was among the top
goal scorers in the NHL – at one point cracking the top five – but he’s fallen
off quite a bit since then. JVR has just three tallies since the Toronto Maple
Leafs last played Philly on February 25, and the 23-year-old winger is currently
mired in a 10-game drought. He also has just four assists over the span, and
the sharp decrease in production has led to his posting a -8 over the last 16
A big reason why the scoring has stopped coming in bunches
for JVR was his demotion from the top line. Various reports have described him
as being in head coach Randy Carlyle’s dog house.
“That’s what we’ve asked van Riemsdyk, get back into those
dirty areas, hang around in front of the net, use your size, your speed,” said
JVR was recently elevated back to the top line, but the lamp
must need a new light bulb I guess. He hasn’t been able snap out of the funk after two games so far.
Meanwhile, the other half of the story is Luke Schenn, who
continues to be a reliable presence on the Flyers’ blue line. Brother Luke is
fifth in the NHL in hits, and he’s really picked up his shot blocking as of
late in Nicklas Grossmann’s absence, knocking away four or more in three of the
last six tilts.
Like we keep saying, the real winner (if there is one) of this offseason trade
between Philly and Toronto likely won’t be determined for years to come. For now though,
it turns out JVR is still very similar to the player he was while wearing
Orange & Black – capable of brilliance in doses, but madly inconsistent – and Schenn
has become a solid defender for the Flyers, which remains an area of
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