Although there are still aspects to their game that need to be improved, the Flyers showed signs of life and gave fans a glimmer of hope after a mostly positive week.

Sure, the team is still getting off to alarmingly slow starts and lost Matt Read for six weeks because of a rib cage injury suffered in Wednesday's emotional win over Pittsburgh, but it's not all bad.

The Flyers, who won three of four games this past week, seem to be playing with a lot more confidence and received a major morale boost after the surprise return of All-Star forward Scott Hartnell on Saturday.

Entering Sunday, the Flyers were the eighth-seed in the Eastern Conference standings. That means they are back in the playoff hunt with nearly half of their schedule complete.

It seems silly to be watching the standings, but in a lockout-shortened season every game because that much more magnified.

With that in mind here are a few storylines we'll be keeping an eye on this week:

JVR’s return to Philly
When the Flyers host Toronto on Monday night, it will mark the first time James van Riemsdyk takes the Wells Fargo Center ice as a member of the Maple Leafs.

The Flyers selected van Riemsdyk with the second-overall pick in the 2007 NHL draft and he spent three seasons with the orange and black before being traded to the Maple Leafs in exchange for defenseman Luke Schenn this past offseason.

Van Riemsdyk appeared in 196 career regular-season games for the Flyers from 2009-12, posting 47 goals and 52 assists.

The 23-year-old forward has found some early success in Toronto playing on a line with Tyler Bozak and Phil Kessel. Through 19 games this season, JVR has collected 11 goals, four assists and a plus-4 rating.

In his first game against his former club, van Riemsdyk had a goal and four shots in the Maple Leafs’ 5-2 victory over the Flyers on Feb. 11 in Toronto.