Former Philadelphia Flyer James Van Riemsdyk Finding Success in Toronto

By Deanna Vasso
James Van Riemsdyk excels with Toronto Maple Leafs
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Listen, let’s not even talk about Monday’s night defeat the Philadelphia Flyers faced against the Toronto Maple Leafs. It’s too depressing, so on a slightly less depressing note, let’s talk about how James Van Riemsdyk has been doing so well this season with the Leafs.

I said it was less depressing.

The Leafs are doing surprisingly well this season (12-8-0), and the Flyers have been really inconsistent  (9-11-1). Since the Leafs made the trade with the Flyers for defenseman Luke Schenn in exchange for Flyers JVR,  a lot of people have been questioning if the Leafs got the better end of the deal. With the Flyers defense being so lackluster and JVR being such a driving force to the Leafs’ success, you kind of have to agree that the Leafs made out better in that deal.

But it is really a shock at all that JVR is flourishing up north? No.

JVR was a fan favorite in Philadelphia for a reason. Mostly this was because JVR saved the Flyers back in 2010 when they overcame the Boston Bruins by forcing a game seven during the playoffs, but we haven’t really seen that JVR for a few seasons.

He did do some good things for the Flyers last season. He proved he was a good setup man for his teammates with his 13 assists added onto his 11 goals, but with Scott Hartnell and Claude Giroux breaking out as stars last season, JVR’s talents fell to the wayside a bit. This was also paired with his inconsistent play and his injuries, which were a defining force in why the Flyers chose to part with him for a much-needed defenseman.

Toronto has seemed to change him. JVR wasn’t as present in the game against the Flyers, but he has already matched his shooting percentage (15.9%), shots on goal (69), and goals from last season (11). Seeing as he’s only played 20 games for the Leafs so far, those stats look like good news for the Leafs, especially when they sit two spots above the Flyers and are vying for a playoff spot this season.

As a Flyers fan, I just wish he did as well while in Philadelphia, and I partly think he became such a huge success in Toronto already because he actually knows how to put a biscuit into the net. I like to believe that if JVR was still a Flyer, he would probably just be injured again.

It just makes me feel better about the whole situation.

Let’s go Flyers! Deanna Vasso is a Flyers contributor for You can follow her on Twitter @Dmvasso.

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