Giroux; Van Riemsdyk looking to breakout vs Stars

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at New Jersey Devils
Mar 1, 2019; Newark, NJ, USA; Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux (28) skates with the puck against the New Jersey Devils during the first period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports

For only the second time this season, the Flyers will play a hockey game at the Wells Fargo Center. While the Orange and Black have gotten off to a solid start to begin the 2019-2020 season, they’ve now lost three in a row and are looking to get back on the winning side of things. The Dallas Stars, who are off to a rough start themselves, will try and play spoiler and pick up two points on the road.

The Flyers are now five games into the regular season and have a record of 2-2-1. For a guy like Travis Konecny, goals have been pretty easy to come by. He leads the team with three. For guys like James van Riemsdyk and Claude Giroux, well, they’ve yet to find the back of the net. In fact, both of those players combined have just three points, all of them belonging to Giroux. So what could help the Flyers get back on track? Goals from two of the Flyers top guys wouldn’t be so bad.

As everyone knows, the Flyers go as Giroux goes. Last year, Giroux finished the season with 85 points, 22 of which were goals. The year before, he finished with 102 points with a career high 34 goals. The fact of the matter is, Giroux produces in the regular season. He always has. While he has yet to find the back of the net this season, there have been multiple chances for him to cash in. Against the Devils, Giroux had a few high quality scoring chances. One of them caught iron while another shot went just wide on a one timer.

You know having a donut in the goal column has to be killing Giroux. While he’ll likely say that’s not the case, you know Giroux wants to contribute offensively and is likely gripping the stick a little tighter than usual.

For James van Riemsdyk, it’s been anywhere from putting the puck just wide or the goalie making a big stop. JVR has had a plethora of dangerous scoring opportunities but just hasn’t been able to cash in. The 6’3”, 217 lb winger is always in or around the net, trying to take the goalie’s eyes away and cash in on a deflection or rebound.

Last year, JVR potted 27 goals with the Flyers. Remember, Van Riemsdyk missed a significant amount of time early on last season due to a lower body injury that occurred in only the second game of the season. The year before, JVR set a career high in goals with the Maple Leafs (36). If not for the injury early on last season, it’s likely that JVR may have hit that 30 goal mark.

Either way, the goals will come for the Middletown, New Jersey native. He has scored at least 27 goals in every season except one dating back to the 2013-2014 season. The one season where he fell short of that mark, he played in only forty games. Don’t be surprised if the goals come in bunches either.

Early on this season, the Stars have given up their fair share of goals. In fact, over the past four games, the Stars have given up a total of fifteen goals. This could spell good news for not only the Flyers as a whole, but also for Giroux and Van Riemsdyk. It also helps that the Stars played last night, losing 4-2 to the Pittsburgh Penguins. They’ve played three games in the past four nights. The Stars may very well be worn down which may lead to a lot of sloppy play, leading to a lot of high quality scoring chances for the orange and black. This could be the perfect opportunity for these two veterans to erase that donut in the goal column. Either way, it’s only a matter of time before these two guys start lighting the lamp.

Mandatory Credit: Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports