MONTREAL – Rust. What rust? Despite sitting out 16 games, Mike Komisarek was his usual hard-hitting self against the Flyers, as he made his return to action with a bang.
Out of the lineup since November 13, Komisarek had no intention of looking anything like a guy who had been on the shelf for five weeks.
"The way our defense has been playing, I knew I had to do well just to keep up with these guys," said Komisarek. "Josh, Bou, everyone has just been stepping up their games. Everyone did their part tonight and we showed what we can do when we work hard."
The league’s defending shot-blocking champion, Komisarek was up to his usual tricks, putting himself in front of a game-high six shots while dishing out three hits.
"I was worried about how I would feel for the first few shifts, but I felt good, really good," he admitted. "Hats off to Scotty Livingston and our staff for getting me ready so quickly. I was running or on the bike the whole time. I've taken maybe two days off in the last five weeks. It just feels good to be back."
While he enjoyed having his big defenseman by his side behind the bench for several games, head coach Guy Carbonneau was much happier to see Komisarek back where he belongs, on the Habs’ blue line.
“I like him a lot better on the ice than behind the bench,” admitted Carbonneau with a smile. “Mike is a guy who takes real good care of himself. He did everything in his power to get back in the lineup as fast as he could. He’s the type of player who can be sidelined for one or two months and you wouldn’t ever know it.”
Komisarek picked right where he left off, logging 22:41 of ice time, the second highest total on the team behind only blue line partner Andrei Markov
“Having a player like Mike is important for any team,” said Carbonneau. “And it’s not just about dropping his gloves, it’s the toughness in the corners and in front of the net. Three years ago, he would look for the big hit and get himself out of position. He’s much more in control of his emotions and calmer on the ice. He’s just as aggressive, but much smarter about it.” Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com