UPDATE: James Van Riemsdyk was not on the ice for the Flyers' Wednesday morning skate. It seems the forward is not yet ready to make a return to the lineup after all, despite speculation that followed the team's decision to send Harry Zolnierczyk to the Phantoms on Wednesday.
Van Riemsdyk, 22, instead was at the Wells Fargo Center for practice but his equipment was hanging neatly in his locker.
Also: Andreas Lilja was not present at the optional morning skate ... Sergei Bobrovsky will get the start tonight against Toronto. Ilya Bryzgalov is sick ... Zolnierczyk and the Phantoms practiced at 11 o'clock at the Skate Zone in Voorhees on their way to Norfolk, Va.
Flyers forward James van Riemsdyk could return to the lineup tonight for the first time since Jan. 12, after missing the last 11 games with a concussion.
Or, at least that’s the speculation heading into Thursday’s pre-game skate for the Flyers, since forward Harry Zolnierczyk was loaned to AHL Adirondack on Wednesday night.
One player would have had to be cleared from the 23-man roster in order to activate van Riemsdyk from the injured reserve.
Zolnierczyk could have remained with the team otherwise, as the Flyers are not troubled by the salary cap.
Van Riemsdyk, 22, has 11 goals and 11 assists in 37 games. It is believed that he suffered the concussion on Jan. 7 against Ottawa but played in 3 more games before alerting team doctors.
He skated in a full practice on Wednesday, his third straight day on the ice.
Stay tuned for an update after practice. Even if JVR was scheduled to return tonight, there is never a concrete plan with a concussion. You never know how a player is going to wake up in the morning.
DAILY RECAP: Two stories in today's Daily News:
- Matt Carle, a pending UFA, spoke about his contract situation and how he has watched other pending UFA's ink new deals before the Feb. 27 trade deadline.
- Ilya Bryzgalov said the shootout is all mental for him.
MEANS MORE: On Jan. 17, the Flyers held a 7-point lead on 9th place Toronto in the East. Tonight, with a regulation win against the Flyers, the Maple Leafs can move within 3 points of the Flyers for the first time since early December.
According to James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail, the Flyers (109 points) and the Maple Leafs (88 points) were winning at a wildly different pace on Jan. 1. Now, the Flyers are on track for 104 points and the Leafs are up to a 94 point pace.
WHAT IF … the playoffs started tonight? Here’s how things would shake down:
1. New York Rangers vs. 8. Ottawa
2. Boston vs. 7. Toronto
3. Washington vs. 6. Pittsburgh
4. Philadelphia vs. 5. New Jersey
OUT: Florida, Winnipeg.
1. Detroit vs. 8. Minnesota
2. Vancouver vs. 7. Los Angeles
3. San Jose vs. 6. Chicago
4. St. Louis vs. 5. Nashville
OUT: Phoenix, Calgary, Colorado, Dallas.
For the latest updates, follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @DNFlyers