James van Riemsdyk’s Philadelphia homecoming almost turned into a nightmare.
With his Maple Leafs cruising with a 3-1 lead midway through the third period, disaster struck when the ex-Flyer was called for hooking and holding penalties on the same play.
“I wouldn’t wish that on anyone,” van Riemsdyk would say later. “It was such an uneasy feeling.”
Especially with so many friends and family in attendance.
“I wasn’t thinking about that,” JVR said. “I was just thinking about letting the guys down.”
He would feel even worse when the Flyers Jakub Voracek beat Ben Scrivens on the ensuing power play to narrow the Leaf lead to 3-2. When the puck entered the net, van Riemsdyk’s head could be seen sagging in the penalty box.
Fortunately, his Toronto teammates had his back this time around, just like JVR has had theirs on so many other occasions this season.
The key was the penalty kill, which killed off the second of Van Riemsdyk’s minors. Indeed, as they hung on over the final stages of the game, the Leafs were able to get an empty net goal from Jay McClement en route a 4-2 win over the Flyers, their second over Philly in the past two weeks.
Maple Leafs hang on for win against Flyers
Toronto Sun | Feb 26