February 21, 2013
James van Riemsdyk leads Leafs past Sabres
Pair of goals help send his former coach to defeat in NHL debut
By LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

Maple Leafs defenceman Mike Kostka is late to the party as he joins his jubilant teammates in celebrating a go-ahead goal by James van Riemsdyk on Sabres goalie Ryan Miller last night. Van Riemsdyk added another and now has 11 goals on the season. (Jack Boland/QMI Agency)

TORONTO - The Buffalo Sabres were supposed to be the ones in dire need of impressing Ron Rolston.

Instead, it was James van Riemsdyk who showed his former junior coach how well he’s put the hockey and life lessons to work. And in doing so, van Riemsdyk spoiled the debut of the new Sabres coach, with two goals, including the winner, and a strong overall game in Thursday’s 3-1 victory.

With a tough act to follow after Lindy Ruff’s dismissal following 16 years at the post, Rolston is trying to get the talented Sabres to “stop taking short cuts”. But now they have a longer journey up the Northeast Division to catch the Leafs, who have a record of 11-7 and little of it to do with lucky numbers. Toronto is full value for its early season success, from the net out.

The win is only the first stage of a vital Northeast test for the Leafs this week, who are in Ottawa on Saturday night.



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