TORONTO - In what already has been a season of discontent, embattled Maple Leafs defenceman Mike Komisarek now must stay positive while he waits for his injured hand to heal.
“It’s easy to get down and be negative,” Komisarek said about his injury and the fact that the Leafs had only won five games out of their previous 20 heading into Saturday night’s contest against the Montreal Canadiens.
“You know, you look for the positives and come to the rink ready to work and try to build confidence and turn this thing around. You want to be in the lineup battling with your teammates.”
Komisarek suffered his injury in Wednesday’s 5-2 loss to the Penguins. The rugged defenceman got into two different fights during the game, one with Arron Asham, the other with Michael Rupp while coming to the aid of rookie Nazem Kadri. It was during one of those punchups that Komisarek was injured. He is expected to be out seven to 10 days.
“Guys were frustrated and I think the frustrations kind of boiled over there. Things happen and you get into a fight. I’m a little banged up, but nothing serious,” said Komisarek, who was out for a skate on Saturday morning. “I hurt one of the tendons in my finger.”
The injury to his hand further compounds what already has been a frustrating season for Komisarek (one goal, six assists, minus-3).
While the defenceman might be itching to get back into the lineup, it’s not quite as clear that the fans are ready to have him back. He has been booed in recent games for turnovers and for not living up to high expectations — or his high salary (five years, $22.5 million US).
Still, Komisarek stays positive.
“I’m just looking forward to getting back. I wish I was playing tonight (against the Canadiens),” said Komisarek, who plans to accompany the team on its three-game Western road swing, beginning Tuesday in Edmonton.