May 1, 2012, 11:37 AM EDT
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.”
“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.”
- PHT arrives in Tampa, gets soaked (oh, and today is Media Day) 0
- Report: John Hynes to be named head coach of the Devils 17
- Ex-Leafs goalie Pogge eyeing North American return 5
- Poll: Should the Ducks fire Boudreau? 78
- Zuccarello (brain contusion, skull fracture) was unable to speak after injury 28
- Overtime format highlights competition committee meeting agenda 16
- Report: Changes coming to compensation for executives 23
- Here’s your 2015 Stanley Cup Final schedule 34
- ‘Hawks rise to occasion in Game 7, head to SCF for third time in six years 95
- WATCH LIVE: Blackhawks at Ducks, Western Conference Final Game 7 5
- ‘Hawks rise to occasion in Game 7, head to SCF for third time in six years (95)
- Poll: Should the Ducks fire Boudreau? (78)
- Bolts strike Stanley Cup Final berth thanks to Game 7 win over Rangers (76)
- Duchene slams Russian players for storming off after Canada’s 2015 WHC win (65)
- Despite getting further than ever before, big game letdowns continue to haunt Boudreau (64)