Flyers tinkering with lineup, James van Riemsdyk could see action
All series long, the mantra has been the same — discipline, discipline, discipline. Zac Rinaldo, who nearly led the league in penalty minutes in the regular season, hasn’t gotten the message. He is No. 1 in the playoffs with 46 penalty minutes. The next closest is Wayne Simmonds with 24.
In Game 4, he was assessed minors for cross-checking and roughing, and also got a 10-minute misconduct and game misconduct — all in the same play — when he knocked Zbynek Michalek around behind the play.
Rinaldo hadn’t heard from league officials before practice Thursday and said he didn’t expect to. But that may be Peter Laviolette’s new favorite word: irrelevant.
The coach said he wouldn’t hesitate to make a lineup change and it appears as though James van Riemsdyk, recovering from a broken left foot, may be ready.
“You’d be crazy not to want to play at this time of year,” said van Riemsdyk, who has been skating with the team since Saturday with plastic shells over both skates. “Just trying to feel better every day and get to the point where I can contribute.”
At this point it is a group decision between van Riemsdyk, the trainers and coaching staff as to whether he cracks the lineup, but it seems likely he’ll be suiting up.
“He looked good [Thursday],” Laviolette said. “It was just a 20-minute skate. He’s looked better every day. At some point, I guess we’ll make that decision.”
In practice he skated on a line with Matt Read and Jake Voracek. Rinaldo skated on a scratch line with Tom Sestito and recent callup Matt Ford. It looks like Laviolette showed his cards a bit by practicing with those units, and van Riemsdyk is willing to answer the bell.
“This is the time of year where no matter what,” van Riemsdyk said, “if your number’s called you just suck it up and deal with it.”
No updates on Grossman’s injury, status
The Flyers didn’t update the status of Nicklas Grossman on Thursday, but the injured
defenseman didn’t practice with the team.
After Game 4, GM Paul Holmgren announced that he had suffered an upper-body injury and is day-to-day. Speculation is that Grossman has a concussion, but the Flyers won’t confirm the injury. Grossman took two shots in the head in Game 4.