Going End to End today are NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jordan Hall and Brooke Destra.
The topic: Where does James van Riemsdyk fit best in the Flyers' 2019-20 lineup?
Van Riemsdyk went through a pair of prolific scoring stretches last season.
From Jan. 10-28, he scored seven goals and nine points in six games.
From Feb. 23 to March 21, he scored 11 goals and 15 points in 13 games.
During those spans, the Flyers went a combined 13-5-1. And during those spans, van Riemsdyk played a ton on the first line and alongside Claude Giroux. In fact, of van Riemsdyk's 18 goals during those stretches, Giroux was on the ice for 14 of them.
JVR thrives with a playmaker that has the skill and smarts of Giroux. There's chemistry and they play well off each other, understanding the soft spots of the opposition's coverage.
Sean Couturier makes Giroux better. Giroux makes Couturier and van Riemsdyk better. Those three should make up the first line to open the 2019-20 season.
One of the best things about van Riemsdyk is that if you put him in a position where he has high-threatening scoring opportunities, odds are he's going to score.
It sounds simply put, but last season, once he returned from injury on Nov. 15, he became one of the top go-to players on the Flyers when they were in a pinch.
In the past, the Flyers would be able to rely on only one productive line, night in and night out — that just isn’t a logical way that any team could have a legitimate chance at making a run to the postseason. Placing van Riemsdyk on the second line instantly changes that.
He will still be a top-six forward, will still have priority minutes and will be able to drive the offense during every shift he takes.
A line of van Riemsdyk, Kevin Hayes and Jakub Voracek could be a threat to most lines they’d match up against based off of skill set and size alone.
Luckily, if things aren’t working, forwards can simply be shifted around until something clicks. At the end of the day, van Riemsdyk is one of those players who is able to find a way to produce offensively no matter who he is with. He'll boost up whichever line he is with for that game and that's what makes him such a strong asset for the orange and black.
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