* It’s time to keep our eyes on Brooks Orpik whose play makes me sometimes wonder whether he inspires a good spanking with his less than spanking-clean play.
* Ryan Getzlaf would get a lot more Hart Trophy votes were he playing in the East where it’s 50 percent easier to get media recognition.
* One of the truly amazing hockey characters — in the neatest possible way — is Wally Stanowski who played on Toronto Cup-winners in 1942, 1947 and 1948.
* Wally turns 95 on Monday and that makes him the oldest-living Maple Leaf and Ranger. (His last two NHL seasons, 1948-49 and 1949-50, were with the Blueshirts.)
* Stanowski also had one of my favorite nicknames — The Whirling Dervish. That was because of his magnificent skating ability. Wally played defense like Bobby Orr three decades before Orr.
* Orr won two Stanley Cups; Wally won three. I’ll take Stanowski any day or night.
* Toughest vote of all this season has to be the Adams Award as coach-of-the-year.
* Should the Red Wings make the playoffs, Mike Babcock must get serious Adams consideration; and not because both coaches — Adams was a terrific bench boss — worked for Detroit.
* It’s a tribute to Jack Capuano’s coaching that the Islanders have remained motivated and competitive down the stretch without their two stars, John Tavares and Kyle Okposo.
* Then again, look at what Mike Babcock and Tom Renney have done through the whole, ugly injury-filled mess in Detroit.
* Biggest front office mystery in the Southland centers on Sunrise, Florida and what Dale Tallon does with his roster; from the coach on down his roster. Apparently nobody is safe.
* Gary Bettman has done more to make NHL players wealthy than any previous leader.
* Unfortunately vicious propaganda generated by players during the last work stoppage has blinded union members from appreciating why the Commissioner had done.