* Some coaches are funny ref-baiters but Claude Julien's hisses and moans are somewhat to the left of annoying.

* And if I think so., imagine how the zebras feel about the Never-To-Be-Mister-Cleans-Bruins.

* If you live outside of Western Pennsylvania there's one reason to like the Penguins and that's Paul Martin.

* His agent once told me that his young defenseman client would be "The next Scott Niedermayer." (Agents do that, you know.) Being the new Paul Martin is enough.

* More and more fans tell me that they're sick and tired of all the shot-blocking.

* That is, until their hero comes up with a pivotal block that prevents a goal.

* Darryl Sutter is John Tortorella maintaining revolutionary decorum.

* Would it not be the laugh-riot of the half-century if Torts winds up coaching Florida (with Roberto Luongo) or Nashville (with Michael Del Zotto) or even Washington where The Ovechkin rules.

* Speaking of hotheads, how about the Hyde-Jekyll transformation of Ron Hextall from being the Original Goalie Nut Case to a well-respected, cool, calm and collected front office man.

* Argue me this: I say that Dion Phaneuf is the highest-paid bad captain in the NHL, give or take nobody!

* The nicest thing about Jarome Iginla is that he's nice. The second nicest thing is that JI still is one heckuva hockey player.

* I'm hoping that my old buddy, Sheldon Souray is over all his medical woes and returns next season, healthy, wealthy and wise.

* If Patrick Kane was in show business, he'd be bigger than Bieber.

* Gimme your two best NHL general managers and match them with mine, Stan Bowman and Dean Lombardi. (Yeah, and that guy in Beantown ain't bad either.)

* It wouldn't surprise me if Rod Brind'Amour is the next Hurricanes head coach.

* Too bad the Portland Winterhawks-Edmonton Oil Kings playoff isn't on network tv. That Major Junior series features some of the continent's best young talent.

* Not too many good fights in the playoffs but lots and lots and lots of superior hockey. (Do you see the correlation?)

* Has any erstwhile superstar plunged faster from security to obscurity than Dany Heatley? (And don't tell me Bobby Ryan or Vin Lecavalier.)

* It's easy to put the rap on the Sharks but not from me. Teams who slog through an 82 game season and finish high in the standings deserve more credit than they get.

* Then again, who says there's justice in hockey?