JVR Returns to Continue the 15-Game Streak

01 Apr

-John Tavares getting a souvenir from trying to accentuate a Chris Pronger hit earlier this season (Prongs was penalized for it).

The talk in Flyerdom after their 3 days off is the final game at the Islanders tonight. The Flyers have won 15 straight against their division opponent, and look to make it 16 straight tonight to continue the longest active streak of any NHL team against another. They’ll do it tonight with the return of rookie forward James van Riemsdyk who was shaken up a bit during last Saturday’s loss to the Penguins when Timonen’s shot hit him below the knee. After sitting the Devils game, he will be back to help out and replace Carcillo who was suspended for two games for his match penalty against Clarkson on Sunday. Bill Metzler posted the probable lines for tonight’s game:

Hartnell – Richards – Giroux
Gagne – Briere – Leino
JVR – Powe – Asham
Cote – Betts – Laperriere

Carle – Pronger
Timonen – Krajicek
Bartulis – Parent

Hartnell playing with Richie and Giroux is a good move, and probably the best fit to replace Carcillo on that line. Although he played very well with Powe and Asham, it makes the most sense rather than put Cote, Asham, or JVR on that first line. The Briere line should continue to do well. Leino should be able to dangle around the Islanders tonight and set-up some scoring chances. Cote gets another shot for at least another two games, so I hope he’s ready to do his job with his limited ice-time. I wouldn’t mind him dropping the gloves either. Also, notice that Coburn is missing from that pairings list, which is an interesting move considering Parent was scratched in a coaches decision the past couple games. Perhaps Lavvy is lighting a fire under his ass and hoping he picks his play up? Another interesting idea would be if the Flyers were strapped for forwards again due to injury, suspensions, NHL abductions (hey it could happen with our team ya know), etc… What would you think of Coburn playing on the 4th line as a winger? His defensive responsibilities would be cut shorter obviously, and I’ve liked his play when pinching in the offensive zone and getting deep. It’s just his defensive play I’ve been suspect about. Just a thought…

Need these two points tonight, only a possible 12 points left to gain with six games left.

*Image courtesy of the Islanders’ official site.


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