On Monday, Washington Capitals defensemen Trevor van Riemsdyk spoke to the media following morning skate ahead of tonight’s tilt against the Boston Bruins (7 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington). He discussed playing alongside Brenden Dillon, the defensive depth this season, and why his number (57) is “lucky” to him.
He scored his first goal of the season and as a member of the Capitals during Saturday’s 4-3 overtime win over the Bruins. Van Riemsdyk mentioned his game is “coming along”, adding, “It’s been slowly progressing and hopefully just keep going in that direction and we can keep getting some wins.”
On playing aside Dillon, van Riemsdyk said he’s been “great” and has “enjoyed” playing with him. “You know where he’s going to be, he’s really reliable…he’s talking to me out there and that just makes the game really easy for me.”
He called the defensive depth situation “unique”, and noted how things change frequently, so it’s important to be ready and prepared. “The environment here is super special,” van Riemsdyk said, adding, “…they have a good culture here where everyone is focused on winning”.
The defense has been very active in the offensive zone this season. He said head coach Peter Laviolette has given the defensemen “rein and free rein” to “pick those spots” in the zone to move around make it tough for the opposing team rather than “standing like statues” on the blueline.
“Just watching him every day, how hard he works at it…he’s a specimen off the ice,” van Riemsdyk said on fellow defenseman Zdeno Chara. “It kind of motivates you to follow along and be where he is because he’s definitely a leader in that way…when he talks you listen”.
Van Riemsdyk has kept the number 57 since his first training camp with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2014. He mentioned he had a “pretty good first year” with the Blackhawks; he won his first Stanely Cup in his rookie season with the team. “No real deep meaning behind it…it was just kind of what I was given,” van Riemsdyk said.
Deeming the number as “lucky”, he thought about changing it “maybe once or twice”, but didn’t want “to jinx anything”. He is the third Capitals player to wear No. 57 after defenseman Dean Melanson in 2002 and center Kyle Wilson in 2010.
By Della Young