Daily Debate: Looking at B's-Canadiens

In their "Daily Debate," ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun and Scott Burnside talk about tonight's Bruins-Canadiens game:

Burnside: To switch gears a bit, I had to bring up the renewal of one of my favorite rivalries in the game, Boston and Montreal. The Habs are 3-0-0 against their Northeast Division rivals this season and can pull into a tie for the division lead with a win tonight. They'd better get their slumbering power play going, although the return of James Wisniewski should help. Still, without Mike Cammalleri (shoulder injury), look for this to be a grind-it-out kind of game, the kind of game the Bruins and Habs like to play.

LeBrun: Only two points separating the Bruins and Habs and both clubs with 30 wins. I'm surprised Boston hasn't pulled away at this point, but Montreal has hung in there despite injuries to top-four blueliners Andrei Markov and Josh Gorges. Which brings me to my next point: while the Bruins and Canadiens battle on the ice for the Northeast crown, I was told over the weekend that both teams have made similar overtures for the likes of Toronto's Tomas Kaberle and Ottawa's Chris Phillips, among other blueliners. I would guess nearly every single team currently sitting in a playoff spot is looking at adding a defenseman of some kind, so it hardly makes Montreal and Boston unique.

But the Bruins are also on the lookout for a top-six forward and may be more aggressive than Montreal because of that.

"Ideally, if I can add without subtracting, I will," Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli told me this morning. "And those are two areas [defense and forward] I'd like to improve. Obviously with Marc down, it's a little more pressing."

Savard's season-ending concussion has opened up cap space for the Bruins, but Chiarelli's biggest asset might be dangling Toronto's first-round pick (the second from the Phil Kessel deal). The Leafs are playing better of late, so it may not end up being a lottery pick, but it still carries some big-time value.

"I will look at all options, and if it means putting that pick in a package, then I will look at it," Chiarelli said.

Interesting times ahead in Boston.

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