The Flyers hit the ice with plenty of jump, at the Wells Fargo Center, led by sophomore winger, James van Reimsdyk. But there was only so much they could do against, incumbent Vezina Trophy winner, Tim Thomas. In Game 2, the Bruins netminder stole a 3-2 overtime win, and a 2-0 lead in the series.
It couldn’t have been a more perfect setting, to come off of such a disastrous lose on Saturday afternoon and play a lights-out game in front of the home crowd. The Flyers out shot their opponents, 54-41, and out hit them, 39-21. They had the better of the play in all three zones, and van Reimsdyk, or “JVR”, put on a show of speed, skill and toughness.
“That was really awesome, to watch him play like that,” said Flyers coach Peter Laviolette. “I thought as you’re watching him, he’s constantly using his size and his speed and just really taking charge of the game. It was such a good night for him, I’m anxious to see his future unfold. But tonight he was an impact player, I thought it was one of the most dominating performances I’ve seen from a player.”
JVR put on a show, scoring the team’s only two goals. In Game 2 he had eight shots and two hits, in 28:18 minutes of ice time. He used his body well around the puck while carrying it, and while on the forecheck. He moved the puck from left and right, and made a stunning play sliding on his backside to feed the puck across the goal mouth, nearly setting up linemate Nik Zherdev with an easy goal. A later shot from JVR, caromed off of Thomas’ pads and he nearly batted the rebound in out of mid-air.
The sophomore winger played the game of his career so far.
“He was the best player on the ice,” Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen said. “No question about it.”
The young winger is now tied for the team’s lead in goals, at 7, and he’s third on the team in points. He’s clearly been the most productive of all Flyers forward through this series, and he could have scored two or three more in this game alone.
“I had a lot of chances, and I’m probably not going to be able to sleep well tonight thinking about some of those,” said JVR.
Unfortunately for him, and his team, he was stonewalled by Bruins netminder, Thomas, who had a spectacular night of his own, stopping 52-of-54 shots faced. And many of them were testers.
The Flyers now head to Boston for the next two games of the series. They’ll need to step things up drastically to avoid being swept.
The good thing is they’re a strong road team having a record of 2-1 in these playoffs on the road, versus 2-4 at home.
They’ll need to play perfect games coming up to stave off elimination.
Because it’s unlikely they can come back from three down again.