While Martin Brodeur doesn’t think very much of James van Riemsdyk’s skills, his monster play in Game 1 has everyone thinking back to how well he did last year.
While it’s just one game, seeing van Riemsdyk come up big in a postseason game again has everyone wondering if he’s got a “playoff mode” he activates and becomes a force of nature. As it turns out, he’s just got the right people to look up to when it comes to stepping up in big moments.
“I always love playing those big games,” van Riemsdyk said. “I’ve had a lot of great players to learn from. I remember my first year, I was talking to Danny Briere a little bit about what to expect in the playoffs, and he went out there and put out an absolute show out there, taking us to the Cup finals there.
“And I think I learned a lot from him and that definitely helped me in the next go-round.”
Drawing on Briere to inspire your play in the postseason is about as good of a pick as it gets. Briere’s been nothing but huge since joining the Flyers and he’s more than made his mark each year in the playoffs in Philly. It’s no wonder that the two found a way to pair up on yesterday’s game-winning goal.
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With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.
Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.
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“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”
Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.
Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.
DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day
The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.
But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.