Hot Bobrovsky not likely to rest Monday

Posted: November 15, 2010

Although Flyers coach Peter Laviolette would not reveal his decisions, all signs point to rookie goalie Sergei Bobrovsky making his 10th straight start and left winger James van Riemsdyk returning to the lineup Monday against visiting Ottawa.

Monday figured to be a good time to play backup goalie Brian Boucher, who hasn't started since Oct. 25. The Flyers will have games on back-to-back nights - they play in Montreal on Tuesday - and Bobrovsky, sooner or later, is going to need a rest.

It will be later.

Laviolette dropped broad hints that he has no immediate plans to rest Bobrovsky, who is 8-0-1 with a 1.79 goals-against average and a staggering .944 save percentage in his last nine starts. He appears ready to use the rookie, who overall is 10-2-1 with a 2.08 GAA and a .932 save percentage, until his hot streak ends.

That is, if it ever does.

"When somebody's on a run, I think you want to give them an opportunity," Laviolette said after Sunday's practice in Voorhees. "And we're just coming off that break. The schedule hasn't been too taxing just yet, so it's not a concern right now. When somebody's hot like that, I think you want to continue to put them in there."

Bobrovsky's nine straight starts are still nine shy of the Flyers' rookie record - 18 by Tommy Soderstrom and Antero Niittymaki.

As for van Riemsdyk, he is expected to replace injured winger Andreas Nodl, who hurt his big toe while blocking a shot in Saturday's 5-2 conquest of Florida. An MRI exam on Sunday was negative, and Nodl is listed as day-to-day. He has points in six of his last seven games.

Nodl didn't practice on Sunday, and van Riemsdyk - who has been a healthy scratch in the last four games - took his spot on a line with Mike Richards and Nik Zherdev.

"I'm excited to get back in," said van Riemsdyk, who scored 15 goals as a rookie but has not scored in 13 games this season. "It's tough to watch; you just have to work hard and be ready for your chance."

The Flyers (11-4-2) are in first place in the Atlantic Division, and they are second in the Eastern Conference, behind Washington.

"You want to be part of it, but the team has been winning and that's the thing that matters at the end of the day," van Riemsdyk said. "I'm here to support the guys on the team."

When van Riemsdyk returns, "I think there would be a desire to get in there and show himself, more of a competitiveness," Laviolette said.

The Flyers have scored a total of 13 goals in the last two games; they have scored 58 goals, the league's second-highest total entering Sunday.

"Early in the season, there were games we created a lot of chances but the puck didn't go in," center Danny Briere said. "Now it's like everything is working for us. And when that happens, it seems a lot of guys are playing with more confidence and not squeezing the sticks. We're more confident in front of the net, finding loose pucks and burying them.

"That's the ride we're on, and when that happens, you try to ride it out as long as you can."

Trying times. Ottawa (9-7-1) will be playing its second game since learning that assistant coach Luke Richardson's 14-year-old daughter, Daron, had died. A statement released by the team said "Daron tried to take her life by hanging" and that she was rushed to the hospital and later passed away.

Richardson, a former Flyer, was not with the team when it defeated Boston, 2-0, on Saturday. After the game, Ottawa coach Cory Clouston broke down when asked about Richardson's daughter.


Contact staff writer Sam Carchidi at 215-854-5181 or scarchidi@phillynews.com.

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