John Tavares could have reason to celebrate at Nassau Coliseum on Monday night.
The former Islanders captain, who was mercilessly booed and taunted by fans in his return to the arena four weeks ago, can help the Maple Leafs clinch a playoff spot with a win against his former team.
It would also come nine months to the day Tavares spurned the Islanders to sign a seven-year, $77 million deal with Toronto.
Yet Tavares is not expecting the fans to be any easier on him his second time back at Nassau Coliseum.
"I'm sure it will probably be somewhat similar," Tavares said, per NHL.com. "It is what it is. Just going to go out there and try to play well and help the Maple Leafs."
Tavares' return to Nassau Coliseum went as bad as it gets. He was serenaded with "We Don't Need You" chants throughout the game -- a 6-1 thrashing at the hands of the Islanders -- while fans waved rubber snakes and burned his jersey in the parking lot.
"It was going to happen at some point and obviously, going back, it was going to happen again," Tavares said of the fans' reception. "It's just part of it. Just try to go back and hopefully we can play better than we have."
Tavares' Maple Leafs teammates did not sound too happy with the way he was treated upon his return after playing nine seasons in New York and recognize that there is a little more to Monday's game than trying to clinch a playoff berth.
"We were embarrassed the last time we were there, and we know that," Toronto forward Zach Hyman said, per NHL.com. "We want to win this game for John. He played there for so long. It means a lot to him. He's been such a great teammate for us. He's such a big part of our team that you want to help your teammate out and that's a big one for him, emotionally for sure.
"When we went there the first time they didn't treat him like a guy who played there for as long as he did and did so many things for those fans. But we're happy he's here, he's a huge part of our team, he's made the transition seamlessly and is having an unbelievable season. It would be a great feeling to get that one for him."