The Philadelphia Flyers are getting James van Riemsdyk (knee) back on Thursday.
van Riemsdyk hasn’t been able to play since Oct. 6. He signed a five-year, $35 million contract with Philadelphia over the summer. When it comes to the power play, van Riemsdyk is expected to be in front of the net on the top unit Thursday night.
JVR, was the critical piece bought in by the Flyers’ this off-season to bring the franchise to the next level. Now, fans will finally get the chance to see that. The biggest area van Riemsdyk is expected to help is the powerplay. Philadelphia’s power play is running at just 13.6 percent, ranking at No. 28 in the league. In their last five games, the team has had 14 man-up chances with only one goal to show for it. Luckily, JVR is an elite net-front presence not only at even strength but on the power play, too. Last season, the former Maple Leaf put up 20 points on the man-advantage.
His 36 goals last season were tied for 13th in the NHL, ahead of names like David Pastrnak, Auston Matthews and Sidney Crosby. His 65 goals over the past two seasons were tied for 15th with John Tavares. And he has 136 goals in 365 games from 2013-14 to the start of this season, despite playing just 40 contests in 2015-16. During that span, the only players with more goals in 365 or fewer games are Evgeni Malkin (153 goals, 326 games), Nikita Kucherov (147 goals, 365 games) and Steven Stamkos (140 goals, 291 games) James van Riemsdyk can change everything for Flyers
The most important factor that JVR should bring to the Flyers is a sense of consistency. With an up and down season so far, having the highly-touted forward back in the lineup should strengthen the team’s ability to show up, night in and night out.