*Crossing Broad’s Flyers coverage is brought to you by DraftKings Sportsbook. Sign up today and use promo code CROSSINGBROAD to get your deposit matched up to $500 . Terms and conditions apply. 21+ Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.*
The Flyers beat a bad Los Angeles Kings team on 80s night Saturday 4-1.
That sounded a lot like the 80s, when the Flyers would beat up on bad teams regularly and the Kings were regularly bad.
I want to talk about 80s night a little bit later, because the Flyers organization missed another great opportunity to really engage the fans – but that’s not the primary reason you clicked on this post.
No, you want some analysis. Some break down. Some Facebook Group chat talking points.
Fine, I’ll get to those first.
Let’s start with a guy who was a subject of some weird trade rumors yesterday:
Trading A Guy We Brought Back For Another Guy We’d Bring Back
I’ll get into this trade rumor in a minute, but it involves James van Riemsdyk.
I’m sure that would be music to the ears of many of the hoi polloi on Flyers Twitter. JVR has become a bit of a pariah to them – long, expensive contract plus limited production equals angry tweets and virtual torches and pitchforks.
And to some extent they are not wrong – paying JVR #7 million a year for the rest of this season and three more years after it is not a good contract. But, I never put that on the player. If a team offered you or I money that we probably didn’t deserve, would we take it too?
So yes, be mad at the team (in this instance, former general manager Ron Hextall) for handing out a bad contract that hurts the team in a salary capped world, but don’t blame the player for the contract.
Especially not a guy like JVR, who does not laze about on the ice. The one thing that can be said for him during this down season scoring-wise is he has continued to play a smart game. He doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. He’s been positionally sound. He’s been a much better defensive player than anyone ever wants to give him credit for being. He has handled demotions in the lineup like a pro and been a good soldier.
But, man do the Flyers need him to produce to help this sometimes moribund offense.
Well, Saturday was his night to do just that. JVR had a goal (on the power play, no less), and two beautiful assists on a pair of Travis Konecny goals for his first three-point night since Oct. 26 vs. Columbus.
The Flyers power play, which has been searching for answers for some time now because of continued inconsistency, has been trying a two-man, net-front presence in recent games to try and create more traffic and more second and third-chance opportunities.
It’s also designed to create some chaos in the form of deflections and re-directions, meant to harangue opposing goalies.
And last night’s goal by JVR showed just how that can be successful: