ombined for six goals in the seven

  • TORONTO - James van Riemsdyk is on pace to score more than 30 goals, amass nearly 70 points and tally new career-highs in just about every statistical category. Spencer Drango Jersey . And yet the 25-year-old doesnt sound much satisfied with his season to date, yet to hit his real groove just yet. No, I dont think Ive played to my full potential, van Riemsdyk said after a 40-minute practice on Wednesday morning. Ive done some good things, theres some positives to build on, but I definitely think I can continue to get better, for sure. Hes been productive here and there, but never quite as consistently as he would like or expect. Though still third on the Leafs with 10 goals and 20 points through 24 games, van Riemsdyk has scored in just two of the last eight games, the latter coming on Tuesday night when the puck deflected innocently off his leg, a marker that was initially credited to Tyler Bozak. His last goal before that came nearly two weeks prior. That night, with the Leafs in crisis mode after a 9-2 spanking from Nashville, van Riemsdyk flashed the gifts which made him the second overall pick in 2007, the gifts that underscore the surface hes only started to scratch. With just under eight minutes to go in the middle frame and Tampa in town, van Riemsdyk freed a puck just outside Torontos blue-line, stormed through the neutral zone past a pinching Anton Stralman before firing a quick wrist shot beyond the glove of Ben Bishop. Less than three minutes later with the Leafs on a power-play, he snatched a rebound from Bishop before lifting the puck, as if on a string, into the upper netting of the cage. It was the kind of goal he scored often during the real breakout campaign of his career last season. van Riemsdyk punched career-highs of 30 goals, 31 assists, and 61 points, also showing dominantly alongside Phil Kessel at the Sochi Olympics. And yet there was a sense with van Riemsdyk that there was more ground to cover, that there was still another level he could reach. He conceded as much before the season. You dont want to really limit yourself, van Riemsdyk said in late September. You want to continue to get better so you can read into that for what its worth. You dont want to rest on last season, you want to continue to push the envelope and see if you can continue to get better, wherever that gets me. van Riemsdyk says its about consistency in the early months this season. That consistency, he says, hasnt been there near enough. Hes actually producing at about the same rate at even-strength as last season - 1.93 points per 60 minutes - but his line - which still includes Kessel and Bozak - has been less forceful, save for their continued potency on the power-play. A creature of habit, van Riemsdyk isnt about to change anything though in a routine thats evolved considerably from the early days of his NHL career. Back in Philly, during his first season with the Flyers, van Riemsdyk stuck with what he playfully dubbed the Arron Asham program, a simplistic routine that consisted of showing up, watching TV for 45 minutes and then suiting up for practice. But after that first season, in which he scored 15 times in 78 games, something changed. van Riemsdyk looked around and saw how Ian Laperriere went about his business. He observed how this seventh round pick from Quebec had carved out a career of more than 1,000 NHL games. He was warming up for like 45 minutes at a time before every practice and game and Im like What the hells wrong with this guy? Like whats he doing? van Riemsdyk recalled. And from there I realized stuff I needed to do if I wanted to have a long career, if I didnt want to just be a flash in the pan, he continued. I want to play this game as long as I possibly can and keep myself as healthy as possible so thats when I started buying in more to things like diet and getting the right treatment consistently, working out the right way and all that good stuff. And thats become kind of my M.O. If you want to have a long career you have to take care of that stuff. Its details to manage and protect. When the Leafs end their daily skate, be it a practice or before a game, van Riemsdyk remains. Long after Kessel and Bozak have left the ice, hes there to stand in front of a gaping cage and tip pucks in the same manner that hes come to score more than a few goals. And thats why, even now when hes not satisfied with the ways things are going personally, does he stick with the routine. Stick with the details and the results will follow, he believes. Thats what I try to do no matter if things are going great [or] if things arent going good you just stick with the same program, van Riemsdyk says. Whether thats at the rink working on things; whether thats doing stuff at the gym; whether thats getting treatment away from the rink; you just stick with your same program, you believe in your program, you believe in your process and go from there. In a bid to keep him fresh (and an obvious benefactor of improved depth), the Leafs are using van Riemsdyk slightly less than last season. He was the sixth most deployed forward in hockey a year ago, garnering more than 21 minutes nightly. That number has been cut by more than a minute and a half this season, van Riemsdyk removed from the penalty kill entirely in October with other capable options emerging. Hes hardly had a bad season, far from it in fact. With increased power-play production van Riemsdyk is actually on pace for 34 goals and 68 points, both of which would establish new career-highs. But that undercurrent of dominance, so prominent at times last year, has been just a tad more sporadic. I dont know if hes found his groove, said head coach Randy Carlyle, noting van Riemsdyks good fortune in attacking the front of the net, likely referring to the unlikely marker against Dallas. For whatever reason I think in spurts Ive played well, but not as consistently as I can, van Riemsdyk added, offering not so much frustration but ambition. By no means do I think Ive played bad, but I think I have more to give for sure. Isaiah Crowell Jersey . Mitchell first announced on Twitter that he has signed with the Steelers and his agent Brian Hamilton confirmed the signing to The Associated Press. Financial terms were not released. The Steelers have not announced the addition of Mitchell. Danny Shelton Jersey . -- Phil Mickelson came to the St.HALIFAX -- Brent Andrews scored a hat trick to lead the Halifax Mooseheads past the Val-dOr Foreurs 5-2 in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League play Friday. Nikolaj Ehlers had the other two goals for the Mooseheads (9-6-0), who led 3-1 after the first period. Anthony Richard and Guillaume Gelinas replied for the Foreurs (7-6-0). Mooseheads goaltender Zachary Fucale stopped 20 shots, while at the other end of the ice Francois Tremblay made 33 saves. --- TITAN 4 SAGUENEENS 3 ACADIE-BATHURST, Que. -- Nicholas Blanchard scored the game-winning goal to cap a rally by the Titan. Rafael Lafontaine, Adam Stevens and Patrik Zdrahal also scored for the Titan (5-7-2), who scored three unanswered goals in the third period. Samuel Roussy, Sebastien Sylvestre and Victor Provencher scored for Chicoutimi (7-7-0), while Julio Billia made 30 saves. Titan starter Jacob Brennan allowed three goals on 17 shots before being replaced by Mason McDonald, who stopped 16 shots. --- REMPARTS 3 WILDCATS 0 MONCTON, N.B. -- Francois Brassard had a 30-save shutout for Quebec against the Wildcats. Brassard was especially good in the second period when Quebec was outshot 14-6. Nick Sorensen, Fabrice Herzog and Kurt Etchegary scored for the Remparts (5-5-3). Alex Dubeau, meanwhile, allowed two goals on 26 shots in net for Moncton (6-9-0). --- DRAKKAR 7 PHOENIX 1 SHERBROOKE, Que. -- Baie-Comeau cruised past the Phoenix with five unanswered goals. Frederic Gamelin scored twice for the Drakkar (8-4-2), who also had singles from Alexis Vanier, Alexandre Ranger, Gabryel Paquin-Boudreau, Gabriel Verpaelst and Nicolas Meloche. Myles Garrett Jersey. . Jean-Christophe Laflamme had the lone goal for Sherbrooke (3-8-2). Philippe Cadorette made 27 saves for Baie-Comeau. In the opposing goal, Francis Desrosiers stopped 34 shots. --- OLYMPIQUES 4 VOLTIGEURS 3 DRUMMONDVILLE, Que. -- Vaclav Karabacek put Gatineau ahead in the third period after both teams combined for six goals in the seven minutes of the first period. Taylor Burke and Martin Reway each scored in the first minute of the game for the Olympiques (8-5-0), who also got a single from Alex Dostie. Jerome Verrier scored twice for Drummondville (7-6-0), while Matthew Boudens added another on the power play. Olympiques goaltender Anthony Brodeur finished with 34 saves, while at the other end Louis-Philip Guindon stopped 20 shots. --- CATARACTES 4 OCEANIC 3 (OT) SHAWINIGAN, Que. -- Kris Hodge scored just 31 seconds into overtime to lift the Cataractes to their first win of the season. Alex Pawelczyk, Felix-Antoine Bergeron and Mason Gray each scored for league-worst Shawinigan (1-9-2). Peter Trainor, Beau Rusk and Michael Joly, who sent the game to extra time with a short-handed goal 18:13 into the third, scored for the Oceanic (7-4-2). Marvin Cupper made 30 saves in net for the Cataractes. Philippe Desrosiers stopped 25 shots for Rimouski. 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