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Islanders: 5 highlights that define Leo Komarov’s time with Isles

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MAY 31: Leo Komarov #47 of the New York Islanders fends off the Boston Bruins during the second period in Game Two of the Second Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the TD Garden on May 31, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MAY 31: Leo Komarov #47 of the New York Islanders fends off the Boston Bruins during the second period in Game Two of the Second Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the TD Garden on May 31, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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Jean-Gabriel Pageau #44 (L) celebrates his empty-net goal. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Jean-Gabriel Pageau #44 (L) celebrates his empty-net goal. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Love/Hate

If you were a teammate of Leo Komarov’s you probably loved playing with him. The man was a walking spark plug. He was physical, he was in the opponent’s face, and he was unapologetic about it. That type of play, more often than not, got players on his bench engaged (if they weren’t already). That type of energy was infectious.

And if that wasn’t enough to get you into the game, Leo would literally slap you on the bench.

Apparently, this was a thing that happened in the locker room but on this occasion, it was done on the bench. When Anthony Beauvillier was asked about it after the game his reply was: “Ah f***”. I guess that was locker room stuff only?

Leo was a much-loved teammate for his ability to keep things nice in breezy for his teammates and for being an absolute pest for the opponents.

Which means if you were on the other team, you likely had a very different opinion of Leo Komarov. His in-your-face play likely got under-your-skin. As can be seen here when all three of the Boston Bruins top players (Bergeron, Marchand, and Pastrnak) converge on Leo during open play.

What that was for isn’t clear anymore. Although you can guarantee it was for something Leo did or said to one of the three earlier in the game. It wasn’t that butt-ending Leo laid on Pastrnak in the playoffs, that would happen 15 months later. This was just a response to Komarov’s general pesty-ness.

There are very few players in the league that have this polarizing impact (Bruins Brad Marchand is certainly another). Leo Komarov was one of the few love/hate players in the NHL.

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