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Canadiens add some muscle by calling up Ryan White, but do they need more?

Feb 10, 2011, 3:40 PM EDT

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Johnny Boychuk, Jaroslav Spacek

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.

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