Leafs' James van Riemsdyk, Ben Scrivens ready to face Flyers fans
MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency
|Maple Leafs goalie Ben Scrivens makes a save against the Senators at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, Feb. 23, 2013. (DARREN BROWN/QMI Agency)
James van Riemsdyk is ready to face his leather-lunged audience here in the City of Brotherly Shove.
James Reimer? Not so much.
When van Riemsdyk steps onto the Wells Fargo Center against the Flyers for the first time since being traded to the Maple Leafs last summer, he’ll likely peer back at the Toronto net and see Ben Scrivens tending goal, not Reimer.
In what will be a homecoming of sorts for van Riemsdyk here on Monday (7 p.m., TSN, TSN Radio-1050), Reimer and his healing knee are expected to sit out yet another game despite indications on Sunday from the goaltender and his coach, Randy Carlyle, that a return to game action is getting close.
After staying out on the ice long after his teammates had finished the team’s morning skate on Monday, Reimer — admitting he’d had another good day of practice — added the caveat that he would suit up to start a game only after the pain in his knee had subsided. As usual, he would not offer up a specific timetable, but the suspicion is that he’ll sit out several more days.
As a result, all indications point to Scrivens getting the call in the raucous Flyers home barn, one of the loudest and most volatile in the league.
“One of my best friends is a Flyers fan, so I know how passionate the people who support Philly are,” Scrivens said. “I’m sure it’s going to be a lively building.”
Scrivens was asked if his acquaintance phoned him in the middle of the night Sunday night in order to get him off his game.
“No no,” he laughed. “I said she was my FRIEND.”
It’s unlikely Scrivens will have too many of those inside Wells Fargo, where the Flyers will be looking for retribution for the 5-2 loss they suffered at the hands of the Leafs on Feb. 11 at the Air Canada Centre. Scrivens has gone 3-3 with a pair of shutouts since taking over for the injured Reimer in that game.
Meanwhile, van Riemsdyk suspects he might get a chilly Philly reception from the capacity crowd, a reaction he very much understands.
“There is always so much energy in this building and it’s because of the passion of the fans here,” he said. “It was always great to play here.
“It is a bit strange now to be back in this building. But I’m a Toronto Maple Leaf now and the focus is on winning this game.”