The Boston Bruins left the Montreal Canadiens bloodied and bruised last night, in a scene that was at times just downright ugly. Obviously the “rough stuff” is a part of the game, but Boston did take advantage of some Habs who rarely fight (like Jaroslav Spacek and Roman Hamrlik). Some wonder if they took advantage because there simply wasn’t enough fear of retribution.
Darren Dreger passes along the mood that today is a “pivotal day in the Montreal Canadiens season” as the team preps to face the lowly New York Islanders. Dreger suggests that calling up bruiser Ryan White isn’t enough and that the Habs should add recent Edmonton Oilers cast-off Zack Stortini to fold. (Or at least add someone of his knuckle sandwich making ilk.)
It’s not clear which Habs might be injured, beyond their collective egos, of course. Either way, Jacques Martin admits that the team needs to increase its intensity. It isn’t happening with the likes of Scott Gomez, who produced an ugly -4 rating among the chaos of last night’s game. Some wonder if teams will try to challenge the Canadiens going forward, as Dreger writes.
When motivated as they were last night, few teams can measure up to the Bruins’ physical assets, but sources say the worry now in Montreal is that the book is out on this team and all rivals now have a clear understanding of one of the Canadiens’ most glaring weaknesses.
So what do you think? Will the addition of White and the impetus to step up to the plate be enough to help the Canadiens get it together? Or do they need to head on over to Brian Burke’s Turculent Warehouse and get some goons to keep up with their black-and-gold rivals?
The Northeast Division is far from decided. If last night is any indication, it will be fascinating (and sometimes a bit unsettling) to watch.
The New York Islanders have claimed goalie Jean-Francois Berube off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings, the club announced today.
Berube won the Calder Cup last season with AHL Manchester, but the 24-year-old has yet to appear in an NHL game.
That the Isles claimed Berube could be evidence that Jaroslav Halak will not be ready to start the season after all.
If that’s the case, Berube would back up Thomas Greiss, with Stephon Williams expected to go to the AHL.
The Isles open their regular season Friday at home versus the Blackhawks, then play the next day in Chicago.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have claimed one of the more intriguing players placed on waivers — former Vancouver defenseman Frank Corrado.
Corrado, 22, was waived by the Canucks on Monday. The former OHL standout had appeared in 28 career games for Vancouver — including 10 last year — but was squeezed out of an NHL spot following the emergence of Ben Hutton, who surprised many onlookers by making the 23-man roster.
Canucks GM Jim Benning will receive criticism for losing an asset like Corrado for nothing. Several Vancouver pundits warned of exposing a young, promising d-man to waivers and those warnings ultimately proved accurate.
With Toronto, Corrado could push for playing time as the club indicated on Monday veteran d-man Sephane Robidas wouldn’t be with the team to start the year. That would leave the the Leafs with seven healthy blueliners: Dion Phaneuf, Jake Gardiner, Roman Polak, Morgan Rielly, Matt Hunwick, Martin Marincin and Scott Harrington, who can go to the minors without having to clear waivers.
Petter Granberg, another defenseman, is currently on IR.
In a corresponding move to the Corrado claim, the Leafs put forward Richard Panik on waivers. Panik, who Toronto plucked off waivers from Tampa Bay last year, appeared in 76 games for the Leafs, scoring 11 goals and 17 points.