* The most heard not-so-secret word in the NHL is Corsi. If you know how Corsi works you may become one of those insider geniuses.

* I'm not one of them but -- facts are facts -- I'd like to know if Corsi had one percent of the reason why L.A. won the Cup; and Rangers were runners-up.

* My conclusion is that Corsi's involvement came out to the Square-Root-Of-Chai-Levy. Which, in Brooklyn, comes out to nothing.

* My choice for a youngster having a break-out season is Sven Baertschi. So far his only claim to fame is that he's from Bern, Switzerland, listed as the ninth-best city in the world for quality of life.

* Second choice for break-out season is Adam Larsson who's ready to be an impact player for the Devils at both ends of the ice.

* Was Devan Dubnyk the problem in Edmonton or was it just the Oilers? (Leave the coach out of this, if you please.)

* Let's make this perfectly clear; 1. Sixty percent of the media sages will predict that Detroit won't make the playoffs; 2. The Red Wings will make the post-season; 3. Thirty percent of the writers will admit they were wrong.

* My first three hockey reads every morning are; 1. Kukla's Korner because it always has the best variety; 2. The Hockey News because I love THN' columns and, 3. NHL.com because it's features are terribly underrated.

* Now that Patrick Roy is Coach of the Year it must virtually guarantee that his Avalanche will suffer the dreaded build-up to a letdown.

* Nobody -- not even Brad Richards -- knows how much good hockey he has in him but still, for the Blackhawks he's a reasonable gamble.

* On the other hand, I figure that Johnny Oduya's best Chicago hockey is behind him.

* Your guess is as good as mine on this one; Ilya Kovalchuk returning to the NHL -- anytime, anywhere? I say never!

* Prediction: Michael Del Zotto will be signed by training camp. And don't ask me who'll ink Mister Disappointing but if you insist I'll say Phoenix.

* If Erik Karlsson still thinks he's the NHL's best defenseman the swift Swede had better improve his defense by 20 percent and that will make him the fourth-best -- at best.

* Anyone for Ilya Bryzgalov? If so? If answered positively, then where?