Leafs defenceman Komisarek expects boo-birds in first game back in Montreal

MONTREAL – Former Canadiens defenceman Mike Komisarek expects the boo-birds to be out when he returns to the Bell Centre for the first time as a Toronto Maple Leaf on Saturday night.

Komisarek signed as a free agent with the rival Leafs this summer after spending the first six years of his NHL career in Montreal.

“It should be an emotional evening,” he said. “I had a lot of great memories here, but it’s a business trip.

“It’s not like Brett Favre’s back in town, but we’ll see what happens.”

It is the last game of a five-game road trip during which the 1-7-3 Leafs – last overall in the 30-team league – started putting up some points. They are 1-1-2, including their first win in Anaheim on Oct. 26, on the trip.

Their only previous point was from an overtime loss to the Canadiens in Toronto in the season opener on Oct. 1.

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He said the team has played better since it went on the road.

“The on-ice has improved,” said Komisarek. “Guys feel more comfortable on the ice.

“There’s more chemistry. It definitely took a while for guys to get used to one another and get accustomed to all the new faces and a new style of play. But long road trips are good. You spend a lot of time with your teammates. We had a few dinners, a few laughs. It loosened up the atmosphere a lot. The first four or five games it was a very tense atmosphere. When you’re not winning, it’s easy to get discouraged.”

Only eight players took part in an optional skate on Saturday morning with the team coming off a 3-2 overtime loss Friday night in Buffalo.

Montreal, which lost 3-2 in Chicago on Friday night, did not skate.