The Toronto Maple Leafs won 3-2 vs. the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night in the second leg of back-to-back games and what a match that was.
The Leafs managed to hang on for 40 minutes, then the Hawks completely took over – outshooting the Maple Leafs 26-to-7 margin in the final frame. As much as the Hawks pressed their advantage in the third period, Maple Leafs goaltender James Reimer stood tall. His steady play allowed the Leafs to steal two points from the team.
Reimer stopped 45 of 46 Chicago Blackhawks shots on goal on Saturday night. He improved to 3-1-0 on the season and now stands at an excellent .928 save percentage.
Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson was the warrior of the night, the shutdown defender was struck in the face, and then the leg, on different occasions while blocking the Maple Leafs shot attempts on Saturday night. He continued to take regular shifts throughout except when he left to get stitched up. Kudos to you man.
Maple Leafs captian Dion Phaneuf is often criticized on his performance and the style of play, but on Saturday night he successfully made life a bit more difficult for the Hawks forwards. Phaneuf logged over 25 minutes against Chicago, too four shots, threw six hits, and the Hawks only too four more shot attempts than the Maple Leafs did when he was on the ice at even-strength. Great performance from a well-paid defender if I must say myself.
And to end this article, Saturday was the night that the van Riemsdyk brothers faced off in a regulation game for the first time.
The van Riemsdyk brothers have played plenty of hockey in their driveway growing up in Middletown, N.J. They recall a memory when they were kids that did not end so well.
“I split him open,” James recalled when he was eight years old and Trevor was six “He was the goalie. I went for a rebound, he wasn’t playing with a mask on and I cut him open… we battled it out in that sort of setting but never competitively”
Seventeen years later they faced each other and one van Riemsdyk managed to get the puck behind the net and it was our very own Toronto Maple Leafs, James van Riemsdyk.