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The Two O’Clock Number: 3

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JVR’s absence will be a sneaky-tough one for the Flyers to work past.

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at Philadelphia Flyers Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

3 — the number of players in the National Hockey League with more goals this year than James van Riemsdyk while playing in less average ice time per game than he does, both overall and at 5-on-5.

We’ll keep this one short and sweet. James van Riemsdyk, who the Flyers will be without for some indeterminate amount of time after suffering a broken hand in Wednesday night’s win in Washington, has taken some grief at parts of this season for not quite scoring as much as we’re used to seeing him score. But while there are things worth criticizing there — he’s been disappointing on the power play, for instance — it’s worth noting that players that play as much (or as little) as the Flyers have played JVR this year tend to not score a ton of goals, and that’s not as much a rebuke of JVR as it is a commentary on those around him.

A number of successes elsewhere in the lineup — to name a few: Travis Konecny’s emergence into a true star, Oskar Lindblom’s early-season successes before his diagnosis, Jakub Voracek’s bounce-back over the past few months, even Joel Farabee’s strong play in his rookie year — have dropped and kept JVR into a middle-six role for basically the entire season. That’s important context to remember when looking at his raw counting numbers:

Total Goals Scored, <= 15:00 TOI Per Game:

  1. Dominik Kubalik, Chicago — 29 goals in 14:15 per game
  2. Jakub Vrana, Washington — 25 goals in 14:58 per game
  3. Conor Garland, Arizona — 22 goals in 14:10 per game
  4. Denis Gurianov, Dallas — 20 goals in 12:51 per game
  5. James van Riemsdyk, Philadelphia — 19 goals in 14:54 per game

Total Goals Scored At 5-on-5, <= 12:00 TOI Per Game:

  1. Dominik Kubalik, Chicago — 22 goals in 11:52 per game
  2. Nick Bonino, Nashville — 16 goals in 11:56 per game
  3. Conor Garland, Arizona — 16 goals in 11:44 per game
  4. James van Riemsdyk, Philadelphia — 14 goals in 12:00 per game

The Flyers’ improvement this season has, as much as anything, been fueled by the fact that the middle of its forward lineup has become a legitimate strength. When you have guys like this playing down your lineup and producing like this, you’re going to be tough to beat. The Flyers are now a little weaker on that front than they were at this time yesterday, and as good as Joel Farabee has looked as a 19-year old rookie holding his own in the NHL, he’s going to have big shoes to fill.