The Flyers have three games left in a jam-packed November.
Alain Vigneault's team has gone 7-2-4 with 18 points during the month. Only one NHL team has more points in November and that's the Stars with 21.
The Flyers (12-7-5) will look to keep the points coming Wednesday night when they visit the Blue Jackets (10-9-4).
Let's get into the essentials:
• When: 7 p.m. ET with Flyers Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m. ET
• Where: Nationwide Arena
• Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia+
• Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app
• James van Riemsdyk played 9:57 in Monday night's 2-1 win over the Canucks after playing only 9:06 in last Saturday's 3-2 shootout loss to the Flames, which marked his lowest ice time during a game (non-injury related) since the 2010-11 season.
In July 2018, the winger was inked to a five-year, $35 million contract. He was signed by former general manager Ron Hextall to play a major role in improving the Flyers' goal production. Right now, the 30-year-old finds himself on the fourth line, scrapping for scoring opportunities.
The fourth-line stint likely won't last for long but van Riemsdyk is being challenged to score, especially on the power play. His strength is putting the puck in the net and when a player is struggling to provide his biggest strength, Vigneault and the Flyers have shown they'll make adjustments. Just look at Shayne Gostisbehere's situation.
JVR, who is without a point over the last eight contests, has four goals in 24 games despite being third on the Flyers in shots with 68.
No doubt in my mind JVR is working real hard, he’s trying to get his game in order. As a staff and a head coach, there’s always that fine line — players say, ‘Give me more ice time and I’ll play better,’ and I say, ‘You play better and I’ll give you more ice time.’ We’ve given him every power play, he’s got one goal so far on the power play.
We’re working with him to help him contribute more. If he contributes more, obviously he’s going to help our team. We’re all working together here to make this team, the Flyers, the best it can be and hopefully we can help JVR play better, also.
Any player, you’ve got to play the right way, you’ve got defend, you’ve got to play the full 200-foot game. JVR’s trademark is he’s a finisher, he’s a goal-scorer, that has to be a part of the repertoire and it’s been a little bit more challenging for him.
- Vigneault on Tuesday
• The Flyers' propensity for working overtime has been well-publicized.
The team has gone to the shootout seven times this month after going to the shootout only four times all of last season. Ten of the Flyers' 13 games in November have been decided by one goal and eight have gone past regulation.
“I’m aware of it and I think everybody is, but you know, those are good to be part of," Vigneault said. "I really think, as individual players and as a team, these tight games, these games have been beneficial for us — or are going to be beneficial for us moving forward here. You’ve got to be able to play in these moments and I think we’ve shown that we have and we’re getting better at it, too.”
The Flyers have scored 2.30 goals per game over their last 10 matchups. Give them credit, though, they've often controlled tempo, which has resulted in strong defense and much better goal prevention. But with all these tight, low-scoring games, are the Flyers playing with fire?
"The more you move forward, the games mean more, they’re all close games," Vigneault said. "You might as well, as a player, realize right now that every time you’re on the ice, you can dictate the outcome of a game by the right play in the first period, the wrong play in another moment. You’ve got to learn to play in these situations, thrive on them, get the best out of yourself and I see this only as a positive for our group."
• The Blue Jackets have won four of their last five games after losing seven of their previous eight. Both the Flyers and Blue Jackets rank among the bottom third of the NHL in 5-on-5 scoring, so special teams will be critical.
Claude Giroux-Morgan Frost-Travis Konecny
Oskar Lindblom-Sean Couturier-Jakub Voracek
Scott Laughton-Kevin Hayes-Joel Farabee
James van Riemsdyk-Michael Raffl-Tyler Pitlick
Ivan Provorov-Matt Niskanen
Travis Sanheim-Justin Braun
Robert Hagg-Philippe Myers
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