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01-29-2014, 11:43 AM
Thank You Hinkie!
Join Date: May 2010
Van riemsdyk continually trending upward for leafs
Interesting...yup..was always mental with JVR.
When Maple Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle first coached James van Riemsdyk last season, he was met initially with a hardheadedness that reminded him of someone very familiar.
"Maybe I looked in the mirror," Carlyle said, chuckling as he walked off.
Blossoming into something special for the Leafs, van Riemsdyk set a new career-high Tuesday night with his 41st point this season, also equaling a career mark with his 21st goal of the year, the game-winner in a 3-2 edging of the Lightning.
All the 24-year-old desired when he was traded from Philadelphia to Toronto in the summer of 2012 was an opportunity to prove himself on a grander stage and, with that opportunity, he has most certainly flourished. In addition to goals and points, van Riemsdyk has also set new career-highs in power-play goals (8), shots (186), shorthanded goals (1) and power play points (14), already having matched a career-high in assists with 20 on the season – all this in just 53 games.
He is also fetching nearly 21 minutes per game – by far the highest of a five-year career – teaming with Phil Kessel and Tyler Bozak on what's become an offensively dominant top line.
"That was the key for me is the opportunity," said van Riemsdyk, who feigned no surprise when he was traded for Luke Schenn in a long-rumoured deal on June 23, 2012. "I was always confident in myself as far I think I proved it in Philly. I showed when I had the opportunity to play a lot, play in those key situations, that I was able to be a productive player. I've been able to get more of those opportunities since coming here.
"For me personally, I think it was good to start somewhere else, go to a place where I was going to get a chance to show what I can do."
..................."He used to be a guy 'yeah, but' [or] 'but if'," Carlyle said of van Riemsdyk's response to coaching. "But he's not that [anymore]. Now he's more receptive to [it] … There's a difference between coaching and criticism. Sometimes they all become the same to players. That's the difficult part is when to use it, when not to use it as a coach."
It was only days into the 2013 campaign that Carlyle first publicly prodded van Riemsdyk. "He's got to go into the dirty areas a little bit more and that's one of the things we're going to ask of him," said Carlyle before an early season game against Pittsburgh. "He's a big man, who can go to the front of the net. He's got soft hands around the net. We want to see him drive that puck to that area..."
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