* Hard-luck Marty Havlat has decided to avoid shoulder surgery and go the rehab route, assuring that he will be out of action for at least a month more. Surgery would have shelved him for considerably longer than the rehab route. Here’s wishing Havlat the best of luck.
* The Alphabet Line? Is there a line in the NHL with more letters in it than Montreal’s current third line of Guillaume Latendresse, Tomas Plekanec and Tom Kostopoulos. That’s a whopping 47 letters on one line.
* Jose Theodore had to feel good about his win in relief Wednesday night. He stopped all 17 shots he faced as Colorado rallied from a 4-0 deficit against Calgary to win in the shootout.
* Welcome back Randy Robitaille. Hopefully this is the season Robitaille, signed Tuesday by the Ottawa Senators after being released from his Russian team, finds success. He is too good to not find his niche.
* Kudos to Vinny Lecavalier for his generous donation of $3 million to a new children’s hospital in Tampa Bay. The Vincent Lecavalier Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders Center will be a fitting tribute to one of the game’s classiest players.
* If you haven’t had a chance yet to check out NHL.com’s Artist of the Month for October (http://fans.nhl.com/Dropkick_Murphys), the Dropkick Murphys, make sure you take the time. They are a musical treat and true friends of hockey.
* I’m a died-in-the-wool fan of the Bruins and Boston sports in general. But let me make this very clear: I can’t imagine how Manny Ramirez’ post-homer preening this postseason would fly in the NHL. Just saying, is all.
* Toronto’s Nick Antropov is already a plus-9. How can that be? Especially on a team that has allowed three more goals than it has scored and has just 26 goals on the season. Amazing.
* Montreal’s Alex Kovalev might want to reconsider his penchant to question his coach, especially this early in the season. Montreal could do without additional drama.
* From the riding your horses dept.: It’s early, but Anaheim already has three players in the top 10 among average ice time per game. Defenseman Francois Beauchemin leads the League with 29:58 per contest. Fellow defenseman Chris Pronger is just 38 seconds off that pace. Ryan Getzlaf, meanwhile, is No. 9 on the overall list, and No. 2 among forwards, with 20:58 per game.
* Congrats to Brian Leetch, Cammi Granato, John Halligan and Stan Fischler, this year’s recipients of the Lester Patrick Award. They will be feted at a luncheon in New York City on Nov. 7.