All season long, the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens have been the two teams battling it out for supremacy in the Northeast Division, so when the Bruins made a pair of big trades Friday, landing standout defenseman Tomas Kaberle from Toronto as well as forward Rich Peverley and defenseman Mark Stuart from Atlanta, the natural question became what, if anything, the Habs will do in response prior to the Feb. 28 trade deadline.
"If you look at it, there's a couple teams in the [Eastern] Conference that have tried to add and really bolster their lineups here in the last few weeks," Montreal forward Mike Cammalleri said. "Time tells. I say it all the time but that's how we play sports, that's why we drop the puck and play. We never know how things are going to unfold. Managers make these moves to try and strengthen their rosters, but we’ll see."
The Canadiens did make a significant roster move in the past several days, reacquiring defenseman Paul Mara from the Ducks. Their blue line has taken hit after hit this season, losing power-play quarterback Andrei Markov and emerging talent Josh Gorges to season-ending knee injuries. James Wisniewski, brought over from the Islanders in late December, is day-to-day after taking a puck to the face in Thursday's loss to the Oilers -- a gruesome-looking injury the team hopes doesn't involve any facial fractures.
"Paul's an experienced defenseman," coach Jacques Martin said. "We had Paul last year. Unfortunately he got injured three-quarters into the season and missed the last stretch of the season and the playoffs. But he's an individual that is well-received by his teammates, well-appreciated by his teammates, has got good size, brings a physical presence to our blue line and I think will help us in the stretch here."