JVR

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PRE GAME: ISLANDERS @ MAPLE LEAFS

The Islanders will make their first visit of the season to the Air Canada Center (Centre?) when they take on Phil Kessel, James Van Riemsdyk and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

JVR benefits from net presence

If James van Riemsdyk’s current projections are any indication, Brian Burke’s swan song may be a coup for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The 23-year-old has eight goals and 10 points in 13 games thus far and has provided a net-front presence that’s been lacking on the Leafs for a while. Consider that the average distance of JVR’s goals is 14.9-feet (three came from rebounds in front of the net). If you’re curious, here are the distances of each goal he’s scored so far this season:


1 – 33-feet

2 – 9.5-feet

3 – 6.5-feet

4 – 19.4-feet

5 – 10-feet

6 – 9.5-feet

7 &ndas...

Schenn on the way out?

As the end of January approaches, so too does a trade from Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke to bolster his team and elude the madness of the trade deadline.

Burke has stated publicly that he has at least one trade on the burner and he's in conversations with one or more teams. If he pulls the trigger on any deal, however, it will have to a) add size to the top-six unit, and b) upgrade the Leafs for this season as they make a push for the post-season. The only exception, Burke said hypothetically, would be to trade "a 22-year-old for another 22-year-old who plays a different position" in order to fill a need---like, for example, a lack of size in the top-...