Philly Phaithful
Better With Popcorn

Flyers Lose van Riemsdyk To Broken Foot

Blocking shots has not been kind to the Flyers this season. And unfortunately for them, James van Riemsdyk found that out the hard way.

The 22-year-old forward, who has not had the best of luck this season injury-wise, went down to block a shot, breaking his foot in the Flyers 6-3 win over the New York Islanders on Thursday.

The Flyers Twitter account tweeted a statement from general manager Paul Holmgren during the game. "van Riemsdyk has a broken bone in his left foot and will not return. He will see Dr. Raikin tomorrow for further evaluation."

On the play, van Riemsdyk went down to block a shot from Islanders defenseman Milan Jurcina, which hit him on the foot. While still on the ice, van Riemsdyk was able to coral the puck and clear it from the zone before struggling to get up and staggering to the bench and down the tunnel.

"He made a nice play," said defenseman Kimmo Timonen. "Sometimes you block a shot and it hurts, and it was bad luck, it hit the bad spot. But it’s part of the game. Too bad we lose him a couple weeks, but he’s going to be back."

It was the most recent of an unfortunate series of injuries for the left-winger this season. He started the season with a lower body injury, was concussed around Christmas time, and broke a bone in his foot.

"All losses are big because guys, we count on them to fill a bunch of different roles on our team," head coach Peter Laviolette said after the game. "It’s been a tough go for him. He’s just coming back from being out of the lineup for quite an extended period of time. He gets back and starts skating, plays a few games and now another setback for him."

The injuries have kept van Riemsdyk off the scorer's sheet as often as he and the Flyers were hopeful of this season. In 43 games, he has only 11 goals and 13 assists.

But despite the poor numbers and injury history, van Riemsdyk garnered a lot of interest from other teams when the trade deadline approached this past Monday. But Holmgren decided to hold onto his young forward, not packaging him in a deal for a new goaltender or Columbus star Rick Nash.

van Riemsdyk wasn't the first Flyer to break his foot blocking a shot. Brayden Schenn, who also struggled with injuries before he found a comfort level this season, broke his foot blocking a shot back in November.

It isn't known yet who will be called up to fill in for van Riemsdyk. The top two candidates are probably Eric Wellwood and Harry Zolnierczyk.

With things like this, it's always best to look towards the bright side.

"You look for a blessing in disguise," forward Scott Hartnell said. "He’ll be rested and ready to go come playoff time."