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January 23, 2014 | 11:58am ET
Frustration starting to mount
TheFourthPeriod.com

As the Montreal Canadiens look to improve their offensive game, it's their defensive game of late that has some in the organization concerned.

The Canadiens have given up 18 goals in their last four games, a number that has pushed them out of the top-10 in the NHL in goals-against per game.

Montreal's defensive game had been sturdy, for the most part this season, and goalies Carey Price and Peter Budaj have been solid between the pipes. But misplays on the backend haven't helped, as the Habs have just four wins in their last 11 games.

Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin has been looking to add a top-six goal-scorer to his lineup, but has come up empty.

The Habs have been linked to Winnipeg Jets left wing Evander Kane, but the asking price is believed to be too high for Bergevin's liking, and Buffalo Sabres sniper Matt Moulson.

The Canadiens are also believed to be eyeing Florida Panthers right wing Brad Boyes, who is expected to be traded before the March 5 trade deadline.

Bergevin, who worked for Panthers GM Dale Tallon as a scout with the Chicago Blackhawks organization, could look to make a move for Boyes, who can become an unrestricted free agent July 1, as well as defenseman Dmitry Kulikov, who can become a restricted free agent this summer.

It's unclear if the Canadiens will look to bolster their blueline down the stretch, but if the team cannot find a way to return to form, it may force Bergevin's hand.

Several defensemen are believed to be available for trade, including Kulikov, and pending unrestricted free agents Nick Schultz (Edmonton Oilers), Henrik Tallinder (Buffalo Sabres), Colin MacDonald (New York Islanders) and Stephane Robidas (Dallas Stars), who owns a no-trade clause, but might not be fully recovered from a broken leg by the time the trade deadline rolls around.


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