* Beware, Rangers. This could be the year that Marc-Andre Fleury chases his playoff ghosts into the Hudson River.

* My buddy, Peter, insisted a long time ago that Thomas Vanek would wind up with the Wild next season and now that's the word going around the circuit.

* So, tell me, why is playing in Minnesota better than skating for Montreal? I guess the answer is spelled $$$$$$$$.

* Here's a toughie; which goalie faced the most rubber this season and did so very well, thank you?

* That vulcanized man between the pipes is Semyon Varlamov of Colorado. The former Washingtonian faced 2,013 shots; and almost had a shot at the second playoff round.

* Is there a feud between NBC's Pierre McGuire and Boston filibusterer Jack Edwards? Apparently Jack E is trying to start one.

* Hey, he got his name in my column, didn't he? Meanwhile, Lucky Pierre is counting his (big) money.

* All signs indicate that Drew Doughty was playing possum all season. Now he's playing like the best defenseman of the post-season.

* Some smart g.m. will give serious thought to signing soon-to-be UFA Matt Niskanen, hitting his peak at age 27.

* Just wondering; was that the same Antti Niemi who once won a Stanley Cup in Chicago? Ergo; Wha' happen, baby?

* Sorry to see old pals such as Kirk Muller, John MacLean and Dave Lewis axed in Raleigh. But when a new boss takes over -- as in Ron Francis -- it happens.

* The key here is that Francis has been X-Raying the trio, first-hand, so he knows what he wants and he didn't want those ex-Devils around anymore. Simple as that.

* Wow! Now coaching jobs available in Carolina, Washington, Vancouver, Nashville and Florida.

* Jeff Blashill, highly-regarded in AHL circles for his aces job in Grand Rapids is tied to the Red Wings and they aren't in the mood to let him fly the coop.

* Don't blame Ken Holland either.