5-2 Victory Over Steven Stamkos and the Lightning
Nov 20, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs left wing James van Riemsdyk (21) scores his second goal past Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop (30) at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
If you were surprised about the Leafs scoring four goals on Ben Bishop (the fifth goal was an empty net), trust me. I was more surprised that Steven Stamkos only had one goal. Coming into the game, the Leafs were supposed to give up something like six goals to Stamkos! I guess the guys at TSN were disappointed about that one. The only analyst that I really like at TSN is Ray Ferraro. James Duthie is not an analyst, but I think he is good as well.
The reason why I like Ferraro is because he is fair and provides great analysis on TSN 1050 about every team. One thing he said before the game against the Lightning was that James van Riemsdyk had been flying under the radar in a bad way, because if he is going to play with Phil Kessel he cannot be invisible on the ice. He has the size and strength to be a polarizing player, but he has had problems being consistent.
Well, against the Lightning he made his presence felt by scoring two gorgeous goals. One of them has become a trademark for him, where he gets the puck in front of the net and roofs it top shelf.
Although JVR was dynamite, it was a former Lightning player that had the best moment of the game. We always see former Leafs players or athletes from Ontario play their best games against the Leafs. Richard Panik let the Leafs understand what it feels like to have that moment. He showed great instincts to pick off an errant pass from Matt Carle and made a great move in front of the net to get it past Bishop. That goal was a major confidence boost for the Leafs en route to a victory. Even with the victory, the Toronto media still found a way to sour the mood in the dressing room afterwards. (I will discuss this later.)