Maple Leafs' John Tavares jeered in return to hostile Nassau Coliseum

As John Tavares makes his first return Islanders suddenly have problems of their own to worry about

"They played their role and they did an unbelievable job and we fed off it from the start".

It's no secret that Toronto Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas has a tall task at hand trying to get all of the team's young stars under contract for next season and beyond. "Just tried to be the best player and person I can be". "I always said during my time here - and still say it - it's a great place to play hockey".

Mark Zwolinski is a sports reporter based in Toronto.

Tavares will make his much-anticipated return to Nassau Coliseum after leaving the Islanders to sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs as a free agent last July.

On Thursday night, fans hurled various items at Tavares when he was on the ice and when he left the ice during intermission. Then, during the video tribute for him during the first TV timeout, the Canadian television broadcast on TSN chose to cut their microphones inside the arena due to the crowd's chanting of "we don't need you" (among other things).

The boos and chants returned at the start of each period when the Maple Leafs came back on the ice and when Tavares entered play in the opening minute.

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Asked what he would say to the fans if he was given a microphone, Tavares said: "I've made that message many times".

Cizikas got his second of the night for his 19th of the season and seventh in the last eight games, tipping the puck past Sparks 33 seconds into the third to push the Islanders' lead to 5-1.

"This was the ideal game at the flawless time to show what we were really made of", Cizikas said as the Islanders bucked a losing trend that saw them drop three of their last four games heading into Thursday night. "We obviously needed a game like this and we all showed up tonight and put forth our best effort".

The Islanders crushed the Maple Leafs 6-1, and in the third period, fans made reference to that Twitter photo when they chanted "It's your bedtime" and "where's your jammies?" It was Lee's fourth goal in six games.

"Sometimes it nearly feels like you nearly scored", Lee said. NY and Toronto sat tied after the first period, but the Islanders exploded for three goals in the second to take a 4-1 lead. Tavares didn't tally a point in the contest. The Islanders have won both meetings with the Maple Leafs this season, also winning 4-0 at Toronto on December 29.

Richardson, who has a single-season career-high 16 goals, scored twice in the first period and completed his second career hat trick in the second period after a deft drop pass from Richard Panik. "A lot of thoughts go through your mind when you feel the blade touch your neck".

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