Times columnist Helene Elliott rates the pluses and minuses in the NHL from the previous week:
+ Roberto Luongo, supposedly demoted to backup status in Vancouver, isn't playing like a No. 2 goalie. He has made three straight starts and has given up three goals in that span, including a shutout of Colorado and a shootout victory over Chicago on Friday. Do the Canucks still trade him? Or do they move Cory Schneider instead? Luongo has shown class in handling a difficult situation.
+ There's a fine crop of rookies making an impact this season. Tampa Bay's Cory Conacher (five goals, 12 points), St. Louis' Vladimir Tarasenko (five goals, 10 points), Montreal's dynamic Alex Galchenyuk (one goal, seven points) and Edmonton's Nail Yakupov (five goals, six points) have been standouts. Boston defenseman Dougie Hamilton, who's averaging 18 minutes and 51 seconds' ice time, Dallas defenseman Brenden Dillion — who had the Gordie Howe hat trick against Phoenix last week — and Florida's Jonathan Huberdeau (two goals, five points) are also among a fine freshman class.
+ Goalie Dan Ellis, who missed most of last season with the Ducks because of a torn groin muscle, went into this season without a job. He got a tryout with the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League and parlayed that into a spot as the Carolina Hurricanes' backup. He shut out Ottawa on Friday, 1-0, and is 2-0-0 this season with a 0.75 goals-against average and .977 save percentage.