Posts Tagged ‘James van Riemsdyk

Bounce back time?

- April 5th, 2013

With four days between games, in theory, the Leafs should have been ready for one of their best efforts of the season on Thursday night, not one of the sloppiest.

Kids these days.

The best thing coach Randy Carlyle could say about the effort and the result in a 5-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers at the Air Canada Centre was that it was a head scratcher. And to continue with that head scratching, here are a few things the team will ponder before Saturday’s game against the Devils in lovely Newark, N.J.

1. What to do without Joffrey Lupul? If indeed the dynamic winger is lost with what appears to be a head injury, the team will need scoring from the Phil Kessel-Joffrey Lupul-James van Riemsdyk unit more than ever.  Sure JVR ended a 10-game goalless drought on Thursday, but more will be needed now.

2. Playoff time starts now. Several players alluded to it post-game, that almost every team the Leafs face down the stretch will be in full desperation mode now as the playoff race tightens up. The next three games, for example – the Devils followed by a home-and-home with the Rangers – are all against teams below them in the standings but fighting for a playoff spot. Heading into Friday’s action, the Leafs slip back into sixth (though are tied in points with fifth-place Ottawa.).

3. It’s time to play responsible defence. As we wrote last night, the Leafs were deplorable in their own end, with two bad giveaways leading directly to Flyers second-period goals that gave the visitors control of the game. On D, Mike Kostka may have had his worst game in Blue and White leading many to speculate when (and even “if”) he will return to the lineup.

Brotherly Love

- June 24th, 2012

At the start, anyway, the Brothers Schenn in Philadelphia might not have the impact of the Brothers Staal in Carolina. But given where defenceman Luke and forward Brayden are in their respective careers, don’t rule it out eventually.

If you watched much of the Flyers in the post-season, you saw Brayden Schenn emerge as the type of big-bodied forward any team craves. His play was solid enough that James van Riemsdyk could be deemed expendable and as a result was sent to the Leafs in the deal that brought Luke the other way.

If you followed Luke Schenn’s career close enough, you realize that change was needed. Perhaps asked to do too much as an 18-year-old, he struggled too often here and the sky-high potential many held for him started to wane. It was clear, for example, that coach Randy Carlyle didn’t have much faith in Schenn as his minutes dropped drastically late last season.

So now they are reunited in Philadelphia, brothers who rooted each on from afar and can now do it in the same dressing room. And as Brayden said, it may be just what the big brother ordered.

“Luke is my best friend,” Brayden Schenn told the Philadelphia Daily News. “We are very tight, we talk every day.

“Toronto was really good to him, but he didn’t have the greatest season. He needed a fresh start. I think this will have a huge impact on my career. We push each other, and he knows just what to say to get me going.

“It’s been a dream since we were kids. We always wondered if we would get the chance. We’re just lucky enough to do it so early in our careers.”