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Flyers’ van Riemsdyk practices, wants in for Game 5

Apr 19, 2012, 1:03 PM EDT

James van Riemsdyk AP

James van Riemsdyk is itching to get back in the Flyers lineup.

That was the word from practice today as JVR skated on a line with Matt Read and Jakub Voracek, a spot that had been filled by rookie forward Eric Wellwood in Wednesday’s 10-3 loss to Pittsburgh.

van Riemsdyk, 22, hasn’t played since Mar. 1 after breaking his foot against the Islanders but told Flyers beat writer Dave Isaac he “wants to be in” for Friday’s Game 5 when the Flyers look to eliminate the Penguins at CONSOL Energy Center.

It’s believed JVR would’ve been able to play in Game 4 had Peter Laviolette chose to go that route — van Riemsdyk took part in a full practice prior to the contest, but the Flyers bench boss didn’t want to change the lineup that’d won three straight.

“I’m just taking it day-by-day right now,” JVR told prior to Game 4. “I’m on the right path so I’m just going to keep worrying about that. You just have to take it one game at a time and when your number gets called be ready to go.”

There are a couple of options for Philly to work van Riemsdyk back into the lineup. One could be a straight swap with Wellwood, who went minus-1 in 13:06 of action on Wednesday, while another could be inserting JVR and removing Zac Rinaldo, who’s lack of discipline has been a problem throughout the series (46 PIM through four games.)

If van Riemsdyk does return for Game 5, it’ll add extra firepower to an already explosive Flyers offense. He tied for the team lead in goalscoring last postseason (7G in 11GP) and was tabbed by many as Philadelphia’s best player throughout.

  1. phillyphunk - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    Id be okay with him coming in for Rinaldo. Wellwood has played pretty well and adds speed and quickness to the line. but if JVR comes back, he better to be ready to play HARD. he is a big guy who plays too soft sometimes.

    • bennywisest - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:24 PM

      I agree. He needs to play like his size. Hopefully he can shake off the injuries from this season, think they were in the back of his head causing him to hold back.

  2. maalea - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    By just removing Rinaldo, JVR would be an upgrade.

  3. mclovinhockey - Apr 19, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    JVR is clutch I’d take him over Rinaldo anyway. Huge upgrade.. Maybe Harry Z if JVR isn’t ready.

  4. balewsquare - Apr 19, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    Seems odd that a guy that just signed a long term contract with a cap hit of almost 4.5mill cap hit can’t find a spot in the lineup.

  5. mclovinhockey - Apr 19, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    I meant any day. Auto correct sucks, he has been injured, that’s why he isn’t in the lineup

  6. matthewmacisaac - Apr 20, 2012 at 4:33 AM

    If JVR is ready put him in. He has proven himself as a clutch playoff performer and should have fresh legs, which the way they were beaten to every loose puck, might be just the boost the Flyers need.

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