TORONTO, CANADA - FEBRUARY 11: James van Riemsdyk #21 of the Toronto Maple Leafs battles for the puck with Bruno Gervais #27 of the Philadelphia Flyers during NHL game action February 11, 2013 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)

Video: JVR extends hot start, scores vs Flyers


Although Maple Leafs starting goaltender James Reimer’s lower body injury cast a dark cloud over Toronto’s 5-2 victory, forward James van Riemsdyk left his first contest against the team that traded him, the Philadelphia Flyers, with bragging rights.

With Toronto up 4-1 early in the third period, van Riemsdyk was able to score his team-leading eighth goal of the season. The 23-year-old is now three goals shy of his 2011-12 total.

You can watch him slip the puck past goaltender Brian Boucher below:

The man Toronto gave up in the exchange, 23-year-old defenseman Luke Schenn, registered an assist, blocked three shots, and had two hits. Although van Riemsdyk will show up on more highlight reels, Schenn has been the Flyers’ most physical blueliner and ranks second on the squad with 30 blocked shots this season.

Lucic: If I wanted to hurt Couture, ‘I would have hurt him’


Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.

Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.

This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.

“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”

While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”

And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.

Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.

In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.

Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks

Torres apologizes to Silfverberg and Sharks


A statement from Raffi Torres:

“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”

A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:

“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”

Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.