CHICAGO – In order to have Dan Carcillo’s energy back in the lineup for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals, the Flyers will have to go without James van Riemsdyk’s youth.
Van Riemsdyk will be a healthy scratch for tonight’s game, the Daily News has learned.
Van Riemsdyk, 21, has had a quiet playoff run for the Flyers. He has just two goals and two assists in 18 playoff games and has not scored in the last five games. It took until Game 7 of the second round against the Bruins for van Riemsdyk to net his first career playoff goal.
And his point production wasn’t soaring before the playoffs, either.
Should the Flyers go with tough guy Dan Carcillo again in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals or dress rookie James van Riemsdyk?
In the last 38 games, van Riemsdyk has just three goals. His average ice time in the playoffs is down almost a full minute and he has had some games where he has not broken 10 minutes.
"When you lose, obviously you want to try to shake things up," van Riemsdyk said. "I don't know, the decision is up to him [Laviolette]. In the playoffs, the level goes up every game. It's still a learning experience for me, it's my first time here. It's my first season still, I'm learning everything that goes on our there."
Carcillo, meanwhile, has received unprovoked praise from Flyers coach Peter Laviolette. He has been a healthy scratch the last two games, clearly itching to get into the lineup.
“There was no reason for him to come out of the lineup,” Laviolette said. “He’s done everything we’ve asked. Those decisions are always the tough ones when it comes to telling players they can't be in the lineup or they're not going to get the call that night.”
"I have a lot of pent up energy that you'll probably see released tonight," Carcillo said after the Flyers' morning skate.
With Carcillo in and van Riemsdyk out, Laviolette will be forced to break up the line of van Riemsdyk, Claude Giroux and Arron Asham – which has been one of the Flyers’ best lines these playoffs.
Assuming that Danny Briere’s line (with Ville Leino and Scott Hartnell) will remain untouched, Laviolette can either:
-Move Carcillo in van Riemsdyk’s spot on the wing.
-Move Jeff Carter or Simon Gagne to Giroux’s line and put Carcillo back with Mike Richards on the top line.
Laviolette said on Sunday that these decisions are always the toughest. With just hours to go before Game 2, there are still more to be made. And they won’t get any easier.
Defenseman Lukas Krajicek said he is fine, ready to play in Game 2. Krajicek said his back "gave out a little bit" when he was boarded by Adam Burish in the second period. More coming...
It wasn’t that the Flyers didn’t commit penalties in Game 1, the Blackhawks contend. It’s that they weren’t called.
That refrain continued today as Game 2 approached.
Asked of he’d retire from the game if the Flyers were called for a penalty, ’Hawks coach Joel Quenneville replied, “No. Every game’s different.”
Then he played along: “We expect to be on the power play … this series. Hopefully, it’s tonight.”
It’s not exactly whining, and the sting of the non-calls (the Flyers were 1-for-4) is lessened by both the passage of time and the fact that the Blackhawks won. Besides, they know, the more they complain, the more the officials might look the other way.
“You can’t always look to the ref to give you that,” said left wing Patrick Sharp, who allowed that a little more physicality on his team’s side might spur some sympathy from the men in stripes. “It’d be nice to get a few, but, obviously, we need to do more.”
Quenneville said that the production of giant left wing Dustin Byfuglien – 2 shots, no points, minus-3 – would be enhanced if linemates Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane looked for him more when he camped in front of the net – and, of course, if the ’Hawks ever get a power play. … Much has been made of the Game 1 jitters the Blackhawks’ young players suffered from. Said defenseman Brent Sopel, and 11-year veteran who, as a younger player, logged five playoff runs with the Canucks: “I myself, was fine. I’ve been around; I know how to channel that. But yeah, there were a lot of nerves around. You saw the mistakes out there. I think tonight will be different.” … Top defenseman Duncan Keith, initially assigned to shut down Mike Richards’ line, found himself pitted against the line that features playoff wunderkind Danny Briere (four points) as Game 1 went on. He said he expected to see most of his action tonight against Richards’ line.
Daily News sports writer Marcus Hayes contributed to this report.
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