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Giroux on van Riemsdyk: “He is a beast”

May 1, 2012, 11:37 AM EDT

James van Riemsdyk AP

For the second straight postseason, James van Riemsdyk is reminding everybody why he was the No. 2 overall pick — taken behind Blackhawks star Patrick Kane — at the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

The 6-foot-3, 200-pound power forward is coming off a stellar Game 1 of Philadelphia’s Eastern Conference semifinal against the New Jersey Devils. JVR scored once, put five shots on goal and finished plus-3 in 17:31 of ice time. The ice time total was huge, more than his first two playoff appearances (Games 5/6 vs. Pittsburgh) combined.

As such, he’s being lauded with compliments from teammates and coaches alike.

“He is a beast,” Claude Giroux told CBC. “He looks like the James from last year in the playoffs. He is so strong and so fast. He has everything a player would want.

“He was unbelievable again.”

Daniel Briere, van Riemsdyk’s linemate in Game 1 (along with Jakub Voracek), also heaped praise on the 22-year-old.

“The way he played yesterday was simply amazing,” Briere said. “He changes everything up front. Now we have another player other teams have to worry about it.

“We already have enough offence. Add James to the mix and it’s a big addition. His play in the second and third period, the way he was skating around defencemen and the scoring chances he created on top of that was a huge part of the difference in us winning.”

JVR he missed 39 games this season because of three separate injuries (groin, concussion, foot) but still managed 11 goals and 13 assists in just over half a season. Regular season success has been fleeting but, with his size, speed and ability to drive the net, he’s immensely valuable in the postseason, which is where he does the majority of his damage.

He had seven goals in 11 playoff games last year and looked to be Philly’s most dangerous forward on most nights.

Against New Jersey, he’s using his large frame and parking it in Martin Brodeur‘s kitchen. JVR provided the screen on Briere’s overtime winner and Devils coach Peter DeBoer recognized his team needs to do a better job of getting van Riemsdyk out of Brodeur’s way.

“We have to do a better job of boxing out in front of Marty,” Devils coach Peter DeBoer said Monday. “We also have to do a better job of limiting the time they spend in our end of the ice. We need to clear the puck out and keep the puck in the other end.”

  1. dsd3 - May 1, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    It was awesome to see JVR play like that the other day. This kid has had nothing but terrible luck this year with injuries. Game 1 was a great example of just how good he can be.

    Amazing how Philly fans wanted to run him out of town when he was playing injured earlier this year. Yes, he can be frustrating to watch at times, but we certainly haven’t seen his best yet.

  2. uncledick - May 1, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    He has always had the raw size and talent to be a dominate Power Forward, he just hasn’t always played like it. As a Flyers fan, I’d be thrilled to see him really spread his wings and take off.

  3. govtminion - May 1, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    Is there a team in the NHL that has a better core of youngsters this year than Philly? I speak this as a Bruins fan, the young talent that the Flyers have put out this year is just awe-inspiring… and a bit jealousy-inducing, if I’m being honest. JVR, Schenn, Couturier… hard to believe they’re all as young as they are, as well as they’re playing.

    • flyersgoalscoredby88 - May 1, 2012 at 11:51 AM

      Also Giroux, Wellwood, Voracek, Simmonds, Gustafsson, Bob, Bourdon, and Rinaldo…all under 25. Not to mention rookie Matt Read with 24 goals. Lots of young guys in that locker room.

      • mercyflush - May 1, 2012 at 1:32 PM

        Voracek is the most underrated player on the team IMO.

        22 years old, not a rookie but its his first playoffs, 9 points in 7 games, that’s 3rd on the team and tied for 4th overall in the NHL playoffs.

        He’s +3 for the playoffs, plays the point on the first powerplay unit, and is one of the best playmakers on the team.

        He is going to be an explosive offensive player… heck, he already is.

      • mercyflush - May 1, 2012 at 1:35 PM

        check that he did play in the playoffs for CBJ last year. Still only 22 though.

    • jpelle82 - May 1, 2012 at 1:17 PM

      they have a lot of young talent, but wont be able to keep them all under contract for very long. there a 2-3 year window before these guys start wanting contracts…small window to get a cup. mezaros is the only d man signed past 13-14 season…guys like coburn, carle, grossman, kubina, lilja, timonen all come due in 2 years…right around the same time cunterier, schenn and read will want their 1st real contract. should be interesting

      • lasallehockey81 - May 1, 2012 at 1:36 PM

        Its funny how people keep underestimating Holmgren. Guy has proven he can make major changes and still keep a highly competitive team on the ice. Carle, Kubina and Lilja probabaly wont be resigned and who knows about Timonen and how much he has left. Thats why you have guys like Gustafson, Bourdon and Manning plus free agency. You make it sound like in 2-3 years there has to be a huge dropoff buthey’ll spend to the cap every year . They traded away the two faces of the franchise for guys Coutourier, Schenn, Simmonds and Voracek so I’m sure there’s some sort of long term plan in place for all this.

      • jpelle82 - May 1, 2012 at 1:51 PM

        if long term plan is to keep trading away for young guys then it could work until you miss on one or two of them. he got good quality in the young guys but he also spent foolishly on pronger and bryzgalov. giroux is underpaid as well ($3.5 a year i think?), which will have to be dealt with around the same time too. high risk high reward i guess. i dont know if you want that year in and year out, thats why its a small window IMO to win it soon.

      • biasedhomer - May 1, 2012 at 2:25 PM

        They can keep them, by letting go of older players: Briere, Hartnell, Carle, Kimmo, and Mez.

        Also, you have false notions. Both Coburn and Grossmann have been reupped.

        They have far more than a 2-3 window, more like a 10 year window.

        And knowing the Flyers, the window never closes anyway. How many times have the Flyers missed the playoffs in the last 30 years?

      • lasallehockey81 - May 1, 2012 at 2:37 PM

        Well, the plan so far has gotten them a better young core. While I’ll agree that the Bryzgalov contract, so far, hasnt proven to be his best, the Pronger deal got them pretty close to a Cup plus if he’s done, it wont count against the cap. The way I see it, the guys that wont be resigned, plus free agency and the good young core of D they have to replace them gives them a lot more room than youre making it sound. Sure, they’ll have work to do, but they’re going to lock most of these guys up before that time comes.

  4. Jonny 5 - May 1, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    He also provided Marty with a body to hack at (cheaply I might add).

    Marty loves chopping in his kitchen alright! lol!

  5. greggoldberg - May 1, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    Still think that contract we gave him was a bit premature but he’s gonna be a very very good player. Loved seeing him play the way he did on Sunday.

    • biasedhomer - May 1, 2012 at 2:30 PM

      I agree, contract was very premature, but they were expecting him to continue in the regular season. Unfortunately, the injuries just piled up.

  6. couturierfellatesguys - May 1, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    sounds like girioux wants to ask james van irrelevant out on a date.

    • mercyflush - May 1, 2012 at 1:39 PM

      JVR is a little busy. He should ask Crosby. Crosby has nothing better to do.

    • dsd3 - May 1, 2012 at 1:56 PM

      Sounds like you’re an ignorant jerk.

    • cleverbob - May 1, 2012 at 3:17 PM

      How many stupid names can one person with too much time on their hands come up with? And why the infatuation with the sex lives of the Flyers?

  7. tackledummy1505 - May 1, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    We have playoff players. They suck during the year and then decide to play in the playoffs. Brier, JVR, and even Coburn at times. Even though Coburn still is good for turning over the puck once or twice a game

  8. heyzeus143 - May 1, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    better win it now Philly cause this team is gonna cost big bucks really fast

  9. unejakey - May 1, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    JVR= John LeClair

    • govtminion - May 1, 2012 at 1:44 PM

      You know, I was thinking more Keith Tkachuk- he has that kind of temper that Tkachuk had. And I mean that in a very positive way, because I was a huge fan of his. LeClair was a big, tough guy, but didn’t seem to have as much of a fury to him.

    • chaser44 - May 1, 2012 at 1:50 PM

      I actually see more Keith Primeau in JVR. Specifically the way he blocks off the defender with his body while controlling the puck on his stick one handed as he drives the net.

  10. mclovinhockey - May 1, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    Ummmmmmmmmmm flyersgoalscoredby88…. You left out a ton of under 25 flyers… Coots, Schenn, JVR, simmonds…. There are more but just saying.

    • govtminion - May 1, 2012 at 3:31 PM

      I think he was replying to my post, which DID list them.

  11. broadstbully33 - May 1, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    @lasalle pronger is on the cap regardless if he plays again or not he signed an over 35 contract a terrible trade imo.. we wont hit cap issues for 4 years and still need a num 1 defenceman like weber or suter…then giroux will get like 8 mill at least…couturier and schenn will be around 4.5 each read simmers and jake will be around 5 to 6 mill range. if nhl gets amnesty clause with new cba that would be good for either prongs or bryz but i think bryz will be much better next year and more settled but i would love to keep bob in the wings or get a high pick or good prospect…coburn and gross are locked up for 4 or 5 years both big dmen wich was key against malkin crosby and stall….future is real bright flyers fans

    • lasallehockey81 - May 1, 2012 at 5:02 PM

      Wow… I’ve heard different opinions on that but just looked it up on capgeek and looks like you’re right. Surprised by that.. But agree. Both the present and future looks pretty good.

    • tcclark - May 1, 2012 at 7:03 PM

      he’ll go on LTIR just like Laperierre and it won’t count against us.

  12. Buffalo Grumblings - May 1, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    Flyers have good young talent, but Briere is the money guy come playoff time. It’s no coincidence that the Sabres haven’t done anything since they let him walk away. That being said, the Cup goes to LA this year. Jonathan Quick is what Philly has lacked forever, unless Bernie wants to put the pads on!

  13. broadstbully33 - May 1, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    ltir is only for a specific amount of time …his contract will cripple the flyers from getting that young clutch dman. gus and MAB look real good so far but they are not weber

  14. broadstbully33 - May 1, 2012 at 7:10 PM

    as far as la winning the cup i just dont see quick being able to stop the flyers 4 lines that score and shut down other players plus you have mez coming back soon jvr playing well

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