NHL pluses and minuses: Kudos to Dallas Stars' medical staff

Times columnist Helene Elliott rates the pluses and minuses in the NHL from the previous week:

+ The Dallas Stars' medical staff acted quickly and decisively in treating forward Rich Peverley after he collapsed on the bench last week because of an irregular heartbeat. He will undergo a heart procedure and will sit out the rest of the season, but the medical personnel on duty at the American Airlines Center saved his life.

+ Kudos to New York Islanders forward John Tavares for reaching out to Jake Lotocki, an 11-year-old Winnipeg boy who was rudely heckled for wearing a Tavares jersey to a recent Jets game. Because Lotocki damaged his jersey when he bunched it up to avoid more harassment, Tavares sent him a new one that's autographed and invited him to the Islanders' morning skate in Winnipeg next season.

+ Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang resumed practicing Monday, less than seven weeks after he suffered a stroke. Doctors also found a small hole in his heart. He was on blood thinners and prohibited from skating for a while. He's a long way from returning, but simply being on the ice with his teammates was a huge step.

- NHL general managers again discussed expanding the use of video replays but didn't get far and seemed overwhelmed by the idea of deciding on when it could be used. It's time for them to come up with specific language and situations instead of repeatedly throwing up their hands and saying it's too complicated.

- Definition of a bad weekend: The Penguins were swept by the Philadelphia Flyers in a home-and-home series Saturday and Sunday and were without forwards Chris Kunitz (lower-body injury) and James Neal (concussion). The Flyers won, 4-0, on Saturday and 4-3 on Sunday. The Penguins are a baffling 4-4-2 in their last 10 games.

- Definition of a terrible weekend: The Ottawa Senators had a three-goal lead at Montreal on Saturday with 3:22 left but lost, 5-4, in overtime. At home against Colorado on Sunday, they couldn't score until the final six seconds and lost, 3-1. Their 2-5-2 slump has just about ended their playoff hopes.

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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