San Jose's Martin Havlat tries to check the Bruins' David Krejci… (Elsa / Getty Images )
Times columnist Helene Elliott rates the pluses and minuses in the NHL from the last week:
+ Winger Martin Havlat, acquired by San Jose from Minnesota last summer, made his injury-delayed Sharks debut Friday in a 4-3 shootout victory at New Jersey and contributed an assist. That was also the 1,000th NHL game for "Jumbo" Joe Thornton. Havlat had another assist in San Jose's 4-2 win at Boston on Saturday.
+ The Washington Capitals won the battle of the unbeatens Saturday. They ran their record to 7-0-0 with a 7-1 rout of the Detroit Red Wings, who were 5-0-0 and had given up only seven goals before that game.
+ The New York Rangers will have played seven road games before they make their home debut Thursday at the renovated Madison Square Garden. Finally, an East Coast team has a reasonable beef about travel. Gotta love Coach John Tortorella's assessment that his team stunk "from head to toe," after a 2-0 loss at Edmonton on Saturday. He didn't say "stunk," but you get the idea.
- The Columbus Blue Jackets, now 0-7-1, remain the NHL's only winless team. Defenseman James Wisniewski is eligible to return from his suspension Tuesday, but that won't be enough to help this rudderless group.
- If Florida General Manager Dale Tallon has a plan, it's impossible to identify. His acquisition of disappointing wingers Mikael Samuelsson and Marco Sturm for left wing David Booth is puzzling. Like many of his other moves.
- Montreal Canadiens Coach Jacques Martin is taking heat for his team's 1-5-2 start. Montreal Gazette writer Jack Todd says Martin "has the charisma of a boiled turnip." Todd overstated the case.