The Philadelphia Flyers are going to be without their leading scorer for some time. Flyers winger Travis Konecny was diagnosed with a concussion after taking a hit from Ottawa Senator’s defenseman Mark Borowiecki early in Saturday’s contest.
With 28 points in 30 games played, there’s no doubt the Flyers will miss his production. While Konecny may be missed, there are other Flyers who are now presented with a unique opportunity.
This one may come by default, but Voracek’s time to step up is now. The former top-line winger may be tasked with filling in for Konecny while he is recovering. Pairing him with Giroux and Frost may be just what he needs to add some points to the scoresheet.
Voracek has turned things on as of late. He has eight points (2g, 6a) in his last eight games. His 21 points in 30 games this season ranks in a tie for third with Claude Giroux on the team. There’s reason to believe Voracek will assume the empty wing spot on the top line. Jake is no stranger to being on the top line. He’s spent time on every line this season. While he’s been a fixture on the second line for weeks, the top line may suit him better in the short-term.
When lines were originally jumbled, head coach Alain Vigneualt moved Lindblom to the third line, and Konecny to the first. This time around, Lindblom on the first line may be an interesting proposition.
Tied for the team lead in goals, 11, Lindblom would benefit immensely from two linemates such as Giroux and Morgan Frost. Their vision, paired with Lindblom’s knack for finding the back of the net, could prove to be the perfect trio.
Not to mention, Lindblom’s play along the boards has been a welcome addition to this Flyers team. Add that component to the top line, and it could prove to be a solid line until Konecny’s return.
James van Riemsdyk
It’s the opposite of the trickle-down effect. Call it the next-guy-up effect. With the first line in need of a winger, that moves everyone up one line, in theory. James van Riemsdyk could benefit from this type of move, and it could be what he needs to finally start contributing to this team.
JVR has five points (2g, 3a) in his last six games. In the eight games before that, he was held off the scoresheet altogether. van Riemsdyk has 14 points total this season (6g, 8a) in 30 games played. He also has somewhat found a home on the fourth line for the Flyers. However, seven million dollars is a lot of money to pay a guy who’s playing on your fourth line.
More should be expected of JVR, and now seems to be the perfect time for him to live up to those expectations. With the roster thinning out due to injuries, now is when the role players step up. JVR needs to be one of them.
The void to fill is a big one. It’s never easy to lose your leading scorer. The Flyers have their work cut out for them, but the players have an opportunity to slide up that depth chart and prove their worth in Konecny’s absence.
Mandatory Credit – Alex McIntyre