Peter Laviolette called James van Riemsdyk into his office for a meeting. It was the day after Valentine's Day, when the Flyers had acquired crafty forward Kris Versteeg from Toronto to join an already-crowded lineup. The two went over van Riemsdyk's role on the Flyers' top three lines - and Laviolette reiterated his expectations for the forward in his sophomore season. The results were instantaneous. Van Riemsdyk dropped the gloves in his first NHL fight in the first period of the next game at Tampa Bay, then added a goal and an assist. And the success has continued. Van Riemsdyk has played six games since Versteeg joined the Flyers, posting three goals and two assists with a plus-4 rating. But now "JVR" has hit another little bump in the road. He missed Tuesday's practice with a nagging, but supposedly minor, lower-body injury. Yesterday, he was back with his teammates, but general manager Paul Holmgren said he will be a coach's decision tonight against Toronto. It was Andreas Nodl, and not van Riemsdyk, who skated on a line with Mike Richards and Versteeg yesterday in practice. Nik Zherdev, who played Saturday in Ottawa for the first time in eight games, was with Claude Giroux and Jeff Carter. Van Riemsdyk, 21, was actually a healthy scratch on Saturday - when he was sent to the AHL in a paper-only transaction that cleared room for the Flyers to claim Nick Boynton. It was a realization for van Riemsdyk that no matter the recent success, it's not always easy to keep it going. "I thought I was playing pretty well and pretty consistently," van Riemsdyk said. "Ever since the beginning of the year, I thought I've played very consistently since then. It's tough, to have unforeseen circumstances happen Saturday and then a little blip [injury] here."
A few bumps in road for Flyers' Van Riemsdyk
Philly.com | Mar 3