Audio: ‘Good chance’ Mara plays tonight

AUDIO: Jacques Martin | Travis Moen | James Wisniewski | Max Pacioretty | Oilers coach Tom Renney | Oilers captain Shawn Horcoff | Oilers’ Jean-François Jacques

EDMONTON – There’s a “good chance,” in the words of Canadiens coach Jacques Martin, that newly reacquired defenceman Paul Mara will play tonight vs the Oilers – assuming he arrives in time.

Mara, acquired from the Anaheim Ducks in the wee hours of this morning for a 2012 fifth-round draft choice, is expected in Edmonton late this afternoon. If he’s not ready to play, expect to see Brendon Nash on the blue line.

Other news from morning skate at Rexall Place:

• Michael Cammalleri and Hal Gill both skated with their teammates, but neither will play tonight. Martin said he hopes both will practice with the club, presumably tomorrow at the Saddledome in Calgary, before they’re ready to play. The coach said he hopes that’s “soon.”

• Carey Price starts in goal tonight for the Canadiens, facing Edmonton’s Nikolai Khabibulin. The Oilers haven’t won twice in a row since December and figure to be a perhaps dangerous stick in the Canadiens’ spokes as they play out their season as spoilers.

• Tom Pyatt is a healthy scratch. Lars Eller returns to the lineup.

160 Comments

  1. LA Loyalist says:

    We have a few players who can’t skate. Since when has it been an issue?

  2. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    Nothing’s wrong with him, the thought of playing Boston again on March 8 has him huddled in a corner like a scared little rabbit.

  3. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    Hahahaha. Funny because it’s true.

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

  4. habstrinifan says:

    Milos Raonic advances. This guy is the real deal. CanadiensAWe may win Wimbledon before A Canadien could win Wimbledon before a Briton.

  5. Bugs says:

    My uncle had that. He’s had some kinda machine hooked up to his lobanza ever since.

  6. 24 Cups says:

    I have lots of issues with Gomez, but nobody’s better when it comes to carrying the puck from blueline to blueline.  It’s once he enters enemy territory that I start to find his moves to be very predictable.  He always heads to the safe spots on the ice and usually comes to a stop before he passes.  He telegraghs this move which gives the other team a chance to cover his wingers.  He needs to mix it up a bit.  Take the odd shot, dump it into a corner, or take it to the net and pay the price.  Having said all of that, some of his passes across ice to guys in scoring position are sublime.   

    He needs to watch some old time video of guys like Henri Richard and Dave Keon.  If he played with more conviction and guts he might just be worth his yearly stipend.

  7. mrhabby says:

    kaberle to yotes for doane…done deal.

  8. Rudy says:

    I forgot about him having that before and it being very mysterious “upper body”. Was that during the playoffs and why PK was called up?

    Definitely can’t skate with Vertigo.

    “Start the season with a clean equipment bag and a freah bucket of febreze!”-CharlieHodgeFan

  9. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    Hey Bugs, did you know Manapart was a flamer?  Yup, got his flames jersey all picked out and ready for the heritage classic. 

  10. TomNickle says:

    When Kaberle gets traded to New York tomorrow is everyone gonna be shocked?

    I’ll call it right now, Sather sends Chris Kreider, Matt Gilroy and a mid round pick to Toronto for Kaberle.

    Glen Sather has just been way too quiet in all of this.

  11. JD_ says:

    A redundant triphlegmatic bicontusion of the medial splenza with aggravatin’ circumstances.

    At worst a two-weeker, but could be three if Space keeps dickin’ around with the anti-biotics.

  12. TomNickle says:

    Soft doesn’t factor into the decision.  He signed Gaborik to a multi year, mega million dollar deal.

  13. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    Hilarious to hear the complaints about his serve. Must make him proud: he’s hearing the same things Sampras used to hear.

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

  14. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    Anyone see Saku’s assist last night on the Selanne goal? Sigh, how I wish he was our second-line center. Even AK would happy about that.

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

  15. 24 Cups says:

    Beat me to it, Robert.

    Kreider has more upside than either Leblanc or Josefson.  He could be a bust, but he also could be a homerun.

    Kaberle is great on the PP but is also soft as butter in his own end.  Doesn’t go into corners and won’t clear the front of the net. 

  16. Habnofear says:

    They got a good one in Doane….

  17. SeriousFan09 says:

    Derick Brassard is on IR for the Jackets, their playoff push just became a lot more treacherous even with Nash playing like a beast lately. Their top center is now Antoine Vermette, sellers at the deadline?

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  18. Rugger says:

    Halak on IR hand injury

  19. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    For all the reasons you stated above, d-men don’t panic when he enters the zone, no matter his speed. They know he’s going to post up. So they simply settle in and get ready to cut off the passing lanes. There is zero threat of him trying to catch them flat-footed and blow by them.

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

  20. TomNickle says:

    He’s made his share of bad trades.  And much like Montreal, he’s under severe pressure to make the playoffs every year.  His team is fading fast, he’ll make a splash.

  21. SeriousFan09 says:

    To be their leading scorer regardless of how soft he was, Kaberle’s going to be expected to play defence under John Tortorella and he’s not exactly a fan of defencemen who are soft in their own end.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

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  23. TomNickle says:

    The same amount I would place on Kaberle going to Boston for Wheeler and the 1st round pick that the Leafs gave them.

    Is there any doubt that this whole thing was media fabrication on behalf of the Leafs to drive the price up on Kaberle?

  24. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    Yup, two Timo’s. 

  25. Malreg says:

    I believe the speculation has been that Kaberle will only wave his NTC for Boston.

    Probably gets traded to Boston for Bostons 1st rounder + a prospect like Joe Colborne.

  26. AH says:

    Wow, you’re fast with the stats Bugs! I wasn’t commenting so much on how many figths he had,as his willingness TO fight. Considering what dickhead Lucic got away with on Carey, I don’t think Mara will stand around and do nothing if he tries that crap again.

  27. habstrinifan says:

    PG should get Vermette and Klesla. Man on Man! Our playoffs prospects would spike.

    Give up a first round pick if you have to.

  28. TomNickle says:

    Vermette is a player I would like, Klesla, not so much.

  29. Danno says:

    Giggity!

     

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  30. TomNickle says:

    Gilroy, Del Zotto, Roszival, Redden.  What do these four men have in common?

  31. HabFanSince72 says:

    I debunked that one when it came out.

    330 players were polled and fewer than 2% picked the Habs as team they least wanted to play for. That means at most 6 players but it could be fewer. Even if  SK74, Lats and Grabovsky aren’t among them, it means literally a handful of players at the very most.

    The part about Fan pressure, high provincial taxes and the need to speak French is utter bullshit. This is what some  hack made up, not what the players said.

  32. Danno says:

    Mara is another gentle giant

     

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  33. jennifer1984 says:

    i can’t even walk and i can barely sit up when i have vertigo.

  34. TomNickle says:

    Haha.  Well he’s back now because the man pulling the strings didn’t like having his prized prospect not with the big club.  And I’ll remind you of the coaching change that team made in an effort to get away from a focus on defensive minded hockey.  Renney out, Tortorella in.  He’s a coach that encourages mistakes, self admittedly.

    Roszival is gone because Wolski was coming back.  That was a homerun for the Rangers, and Redden is gone because of his cap hit.  Their defensive inefficiencies aren’t the reason they’re gone.

     

  35. SeriousFan09 says:

    Why do we need a 3rd-line center getting 3.75 million a year? People do know PG can’t wave a wand, go “Ta-Da” and make Gomez go away right? He’d be a salary dump trade giving up a significant asset to do so.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  36. Storm Man says:

    The media doing fabrications to drive up the price of a player? Tom you are becoming way controversial on this site. Nice call on that fact.

  37. TomNickle says:

    Big difference between big and tough. 

  38. habstrinifan says:

    He’s big and tough and plays at a plus level.

  39. Storm Man says:

    Im not sold yet on manapart cheering for the flames. I know he cheers for everyone but the Habs and the fact he came on here the other day saying people should go to cowboys on Sunday shows me he has no clue what goes on in this city. Cowboys is closed btw. I guess that makes him a perennial contender for the troll of the year.

  40. Bugs says:

    You sure? Cuz he stood around LAST year when Lucic was doing that.

  41. TomNickle says:

    I’m a little slow today.  I’m afraid I’ll need you to dumb it down for me and tell me whether or not you were being sarcastic just now.

  42. SeriousFan09 says:

    If Redden had been playing at an acceptable level he might have lasted but his play degraded to the point where he’s an AHLer. Roszival was dumped because he was too much money for too little benefit, Wolski isn’t exactly setting it on fire right now either.

    Tortorella isn’t a rotate-the-lines, no defence coach like Boudreau. He may encourage risk but he also demands accountability from his teams, he’s a harsh coach which means generally his tenures don’t last that long, much like Ron Wilson. Sooner or later the teams tune him out but he always makes sure he’s getting the most out of his players.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  43. TomNickle says:

    The Blue Jays called a press conference, maybe they acquired Kaberle.

  44. mrhabby says:

     stranger things have happened…would not doubt it one bit.

  45. AH says:

    Ok, ok Bugs! No I’m not completely ”sure”, but I’m hoping ok??? Sheesh.

  46. Storm Man says:

    Sarcastic.

  47. 24 Cups says:

    Are they taking Gomez off our hands?

  48. TomNickle says:

    Exactly, and everything you just said speaks to his demand in terms of effort level, not defense.  He couldn’t give two licks about whether or not Gaborik picks up the right man on the backcheck as long as he’s hustling.

    That’s Tortorella. 

  49. Storm Man says:

    Nahhh just giving away 65 million.

  50. SeriousFan09 says:

    Keith Primeau and his very public campaign about concussion awareness

    http://www.metronews.ca/ottawa/sports/article/776804–primeau-s-legacy-lies-in-concussion-awareness–page1

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  51. TomNickle says:

    You really don’t think Dreger has been in Burke’s pocket and reporting bogus crap to help drive prices up?

  52. joeybarrie says:

    Too bad they didn’t win the game for us…

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  53. wotever says:

    (Take it easy buddy.)


    It’s just a game.

  54. davelecave says:

    Goals Against/Game: 7th

  55. Chris says:

    My favourite Bugs incarnations:  the French flag lips avatar (that one is still my favourite on the site ever…so distinctive, so very Bugs!) and the baby on a chair (potty?) from a couple of years ago.

  56. LA Loyalist says:

    Um. Yup. They are pretty darn happy with him in Duck land.

  57. TomNickle says:

    On the subject, Hodgson and or Schneider would likely be the asking price, so I highly doubt that would happen.

  58. TomNickle says:

    Yeah, poor Vancouver, can’t seem to get over that injury bug.

    I HAVE ZERO SYMPATHY FOR THEM.

  59. habstrinifan says:

    Hal Gill sends you a one finger salute.

  60. habstrinifan says:

    “He needs to watch some old time video of guys like Henri Richard and Dave Keon. If he played with more conviction and guts he might just be worth his yearly stipend.”

    WOW! Nail on the head stuff! Especially the part about him needing to play with more conviction.. more purpose.

  61. Storm Man says:

    Well it is time to head up highway 2 to Deadmonton hope to not hit any speed traps this time, Enjoy the game all, Mara with the game winning goal. Ok maybe not 5-2 Habs.

  62. LA Loyalist says:

    watch the 6th Washington goal if you get a chance – absolutely crazy, one hell of an entertaining game, actually.

  63. andrewberkshire says:

    The baby on the chair will always be Bugs to me.

  64. Ian Cobb says:

    What CBC station has the game on ?  Montreal feed.? or just the Alberta feed ?

    I know I have it on RDS tonight. But I see that it is advertised on CBC. ????

  65. sprague cleghorn says:

    There’s a fox in the Bug-house.

  66. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    Haha!

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

  67. REB says:

    They call them radar detectors for a reason….

  68. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    It’s definitely on CBC Montreal. And I imagine Alberta also. Not sure where else.

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

  69. LA Loyalist says:

    Absolutely Kaberle could be a dud. There are lots of examples of previous stars moving and being busts. I won’t mention anyone in particular :) But someone was posting he was useless in Toronto, so I threw up his numbers (I should rephrase that).

    My point, which Hab fans know to our pain better than almost anyone, is that an offensive QB for the PP is a rare and precious thing and he could be a difference maker for the right team.

    And for whatever reasons he is not popular with Leaf management (who probably resent anyone with a no-trade clause from a previous regime – wasn’t it JF jr that gave it to him?) I say he moves, whether Van or Boston or… I don’t know.

     

  70. LA Loyalist says:

    That’s the problem with time zones. You’re already several drinks ahead of us west coasters :)

  71. davelecave says:

    Just awful.

  72. habstrinifan says:

    HA! HA!

  73. notbigbird says:

    Has Paul landed or is he just a  marage?

  74. Brocas Brain says:

    let’s hope so! 

  75. shiram says:

    Each time he scored this year he looked so genuinely happy, I really hope he does pot one in tonight.
    Too bad he will most likely play on the wing.

  76. jrshabs1 says:

     Welcome back Lars!!! #81 scores a goal tonight. Book it!

     

     

    Go Habs Go!!

  77. scrowe21 says:

    I guess they’re not sending Eller to Hamilton..   He is not ready for the NHL, 8 points in 53 games. Rarely has a shift where he creates a scoring chance.. Why can’t PG/JM understand that he needs to go down. The Dogs could use him right now too..

  78. ManApart says:

    I believe he will be sent down soon. Cammy is coming back, maybe in Calgary, and somebody will have to go. It’s either White or Eller. Pyatt is JM’s boy and won’t be hurt development wise, on the 4th line or in the press box, as it would towards the other two. I’m fairly sure PG will make a move for another forward soon, and if Eller is not demoted when Cammy returns, then he almost surely will when that move is made. 

  79. wd40 says:

    I don’t dislike the kid, he’s just invisible.  

    An old boss once told me, bless his heart, “it’s not that you’re incompetent.. you’re just not competent”.

  80. patience is a virtue says:

    you can look back on the last few games and emphasize either 4 loses out of the last 5 matches, or, 4 points in our last three starts. 

    this game is clutch looking backward and forward:

    we lose and a “slump mentality” may start to creep in – we’re too battered up excuses, etc

    we win and a feeling of indominable resilience starts to take hold as we move on to Calgary and Vancouver.

    what’s it gonna be Habs?

  81. StevieRay says:

    Poor Stubbs…….

  82. awesomerino says:

    I wonder if Martin can actually tell Pyatt he’s a healthy scratch without crying?

  83. stephen says:

    “…facing Calgary’s Nikolai Khabibulin.”

    You’ve obviously got Sunday’s game on the brain, Mr. Stubbs! ;)

  84. zaq007 says:

    Hope Mara has a good game!

  85. Storm Man says:

    Calgary must have made a trade :).

    Now Khabibulin is back with Edmonton, He must have a super fast car driving up and down highway 2,


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