SWAT Health X Wonderful Pistachios : Q & A with James Van Riemsdyk
Despite having two days off before their game against the Washington Capitals at the Air Canada Centre, there is no resting for Leafs' left-winger James Van Riemsdyk. Not even when his day off with no obligation to go to morning skate happens to fall on American Thanksgiving. Instead of capitalizing on the perfect opportunity to sleep in and then mosey around the house awaiting a full slate of Thanksgiving football games to commence ( like the rest of us -- American or not) , JVR was at the Swat Health Center in Mississauga working out and eating pistachios. Yes, pistachios. Wonderful Pistachios to be exact. A natural, convenient and guilt-free snack option. Luckily, the folks at Wonderful Pistachio have the munching and nutritious value down to a science, so for athletes like JVR -- always on the go, all they have to do is enjoy. The protein and fiber are major keys when it comes to refueling post-workout. For those wondering, the Sweet Chili flavoured pistachios are his favourite. I just gave you the most awkward Toronto bar conversation starter/ ender ever ... you are welcome.
After taking part in an off-ice training session with JVR, I got a chance to catch up with the 27-year-old to discuss the recent road woes, his role changing within the franchise and food. It was Thanksgiving after all.
Q & A
GREY : First of all, Happy Thanksgiving ! I know you celebrate both the Canadian and American Thanksgiving holidays so I'm guessing the 48-hour break couldn't have come at a better time, no ?
JVR:Yes ,exactly. A bit of a much needed break through a long season , especially on a day like Thanksgiving --so you try to enjoy that a little bit.
GREY : If you could pick one teammate that you would trust the most to cook you your Thanksgiving meal, who would it be ?
JVR ( with the look of terror in his eyes) :
That is a tough one ! 'Cause we’ve got a lot of young guys -guys who do not have a lot of experience in the kitchen ,I don’t think...but I’m going to have to go with Matt Hunwick . I think he’d do a good job .
Grey: Alright, hard hitting question here: What dishes MUST be on your dinner table at Thanksgiving?
JVR: Stuffing , obviously – that’s a staple , Turkey’s a no-brainer .. Mashed potatoes , green beens, squash and then you've got to have pumpkin pie! How could I forget about that ?
Grey: Okay enough about food because now I'm getting hungry. There was a ton of hype surrounding the new kids on the block which has morphed your role with the franchise . How have you found adjusting to being looked at more as a leader in the locker room ?
JVR: It’s been good. The young guys bring a lot of excitement and you can't help but feed off of all that. They’re playing their first handful of games in the NHL . They have lots of energy. It’s been really great to be around.
Grey: Still early in the season but you guys have seemed to have found your formula at home-- not quite the case on the road. After losing your third away game in New Jersey on Wednesday , you could really hear a sense of urgency during the team's post-game interviews.
JVR: Yeah. Well first and foremost we need to acknowledge what’s going on and I think find ways to address it. But I think we’ve put ourselves in pretty good position in some of these games it's just a matter of closing them out and playing with a little bit more consistency so that’s going to be the key.