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Follow the leader...

Wednesday, 05.11.2011 / 12:44 PM ET / News
Philadelphia Flyers
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Follow the leader...
Whether they know it or not, James van Riemsdyk and Claude Giroux seem to have a game of follow-the-leader going.

Giroux was the Flyers’ first round pick of the Flyers in 2006 (22nd overall). A year later van Riemsdyk was the Flyers’ first round pick (2nd overall).

Claude Giroux
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Giroux enjoyed a break out playoffs in 2010, while van Riemsdyk was a clear standout for the Flyers in 2011.

“The hope with both of those players is that they continue to grow,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette.
Giroux & van Riemsdyk played on the same line for much of the 2011 Playoffs.

We already know about Giroux and Flyers fans are watering at the mouth to think that he can improve on his performance the last year and a half.

Giroux followed up his performance in the Flyers’ run to the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals where he posted 10 goals and 21 points in 23 games, and ended the 2010-11 season as the leading scorer of the Flyers in points (76) and assists (51).

His 76 points were nearly 30 points more than his career-high from just one year ago, while his 51 assists were 20 better and his 25 goals were nine better than his career-high.

During the Flyers 2011 playoffs, Giroux averaged over a point-per-game and again led the Flyers in scoring with 12 points and 11 assists.

He didn’t however lead the team in goals. That title went to van Riemsdyk, who posted seven goals in 11 postseason games, sharing the goal-scoring lead with Danny Briere.

“He’s kind of taken the path of Claude [Giroux]. He had a good year and when the playoffs turned out to be good where he was an impact player every night for us,” added Laviolette. “He took the next step in the playoffs and became a very effective players for us.”

Come next season, the Flyers hope is that JVR picks up where he left off during the playoffs and has the impact that his teammates and coaches noticed.

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“He now takes his playoff success, the experience and the confidence he can grab from this and take it into his regular season and really start to spread his wings and become a guy we can count on for 18-20 minutes a night,” said Laviolette. “He can play in all situations, on the first power-play unit.”

The 22-year-old van Riemsdyk still improved on his rookie season, recording a new career-high in goals (21) and points (40), all the while posting a plus/minus record of +15, 16 points higher than his rookie year.

The playoffs are where he took his play to another level. Dominating almost every shift on the ice, JVR scored more goals during the 11-game Flyers playoffs (7), than he had points (6) for all 21 games he played in last year’s postseason run.

“I think the emergence of Giroux and van Riemsdyk this year puts us in a great position,” said Danny Briere. “I’m really excited, and obviously there are other guys, who maybe had a season where they’d like to be a little better, so maybe they will work a little extra hard in the summer time, and come back to make a statement next year.”

With stars such as Briere, Pronger, Jeff Carter and not to mention captain Michael Richards locked into contracts for several years the Flyers as well as their fans can look forward to exciting action, highly-skilled and successful hockey for 2011-12 and beyond.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 78 22 45 -8 67
W. Simmonds 81 32 28 -7 60
B. Schenn 80 26 33 3 59
J. Voracek 73 11 44 -5 55
S. Gostisbehere 64 17 29 8 46
S. Couturier 63 11 28 8 39
M. Raffl 82 13 18 9 31
M. Read 79 11 15 -5 26
M. Streit 62 6 17 -1 23
S. Laughton 71 7 14 -2 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 23 19 10 .918 2.51
M. Neuvirth 18 8 4 .924 2.27
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