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Things Not Going Too Badly for James van Riemsdyk in Toronto

Feb 6, 2013, 5:33 PM EDT

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When the Flyers swapped James van Riemsdyk for Luke Schenn
in the offseason, the thinking was both underachievers might be better off with
a change of scenery. Schenn has certainly brought a physical component to
Philadelphia’s defense, leading his new team with 34 hits through 10 games –
also good for fourth in the NHL.

Up north in Toronto, it sounds like van Riemsdyk is
acquitting himself nicely as well. On Tuesday, the former second-overall pick
of the ’07 draft had his second two-goal performance in his new uniform to give
him six goals for the season – tied for seventh in the NHL with eight players.

JVR’s tallies helped give the Maple Leafs a 3-2 win over the
Washington Capitals, although one of the scores was an absolute gift. They all
count the same though, and nobody is lighting the lamp six times in 10 games by
accident.

It hasn’t all been smooth sailing for van Riemsdyk however.
He has just a lone assist, which makes outsiders wonder how much he’s made his
teammates better around him. Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle also pulled JVR off
the power play at one point because he wasn’t crashing the net, although reports are
he’s had a greater presence there since.

But overall, we are witnessing once again the All-Star potential
van Riemsdyk has always possessed – only this time from a distance. While
Philadelphia continues to rank near the bottom of the league in goals per game,
it’s hard not to think about how much he might be helping the Flyers team right
now.

Of course, Luke Schenn isn’t exactly causing any buyer’s
remorse right now, either. So far, things seem to be working out well on both
ends of this deal.