The Philadelphia Flyers announced James van Reimsdyk will be out five to six weeks with a lower-body injury. Van Reimsdyk suffered the injury in Saturday’s game against the Avalanche when an errant puck struck his knee. He had one assist in the first two games of the season after returning to the Flyers as a free agent on July 1, 2018.
Van Reimsdyk transformed into a dynamic goal scorer after being traded from Philadelphia to Toronto in 2012. He registered 136 goals and 126 assists in 365 games with the Maple Leafs over the course of five seasons. His injury is a huge blow to the Flyers’ offense. Forward Jordan Weal is expected to replace van Riemsdyk on the third line.
Weal scored eight goals and added 13 assists in 69 games for the Flyers last season. He was a third-round pick of the Los Angeles Kings in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Weal averaged nearly 13 minutes a game last season but was a healthy scratch for the Flyers’ first two games. Second-line winger Oskar Lindblom will take JVR’s spot on the second-powerplay unit.
Flyers’ head coach Dave Hakstoll started tinkering with the Flyers’ lineup even before van Reimsdyk’s injury. Jakub Voracek moved up to the top line with Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier during Saturday’s game and is expected to play there on Tuesday against the Sharks. Inversely, Travis Konecny will slide down to the second line.
This top-heavy attack is a familiar look for the Flyers. Giroux, Couturier, and Voracek played over 376 minutes at 5v5 together last season. The Flyers posted a 56.71 CF% and outscored their opponents 24 to 11 when all three of them were on the ice. The Flyers need the three of them to continue to lead the way offensively in the absence of JVR.