January 27, 2013
Second line fine by Leafs' James van Riemsdyk
By LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

While some see James van Riemsdyk as a possible first-line centre, he is making the most of his new opportunity as a winger on the second troika. (Veronica Henri/QMI Agency)

TORONTO - When Rangers TV pulled James van Riemsdyk aside after 40 minutes on Saturday night, you might expect the Middletown, N.J., product used the two minutes as a shout-out to friends and family attending the game at Madison Square Garden.

But the left winger gushed about the Maple Leafs, Toronto and Canada, a neat little clip that would’ve tickled the tourist board. JVR is getting more comfortable in blue and white, even if it’s not the first-line role many envisioned for him. With the injury to Joffrey Lupul, coach Randy Carlyle promoted JVR from the third line and is matching he, centre Mikhail Grabovski and winger Nikolai Kulemin against the opposition’s best, an assignment the 6-foot-3, 200-pounder relishes.

“I definitely think me, Grabbo and Kulie have some chemistry out there,” van Riemsdyk said. “Kulie is really good on the forecheck, he’s big and he’s good at getting in there and disrupting things. Grabbo’s got some good playmaking ability and he sees the ice really well, too."



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