* The emergence of Chris Krieder as playoff force says tons about the value of Alain Vigneault as coach.

* Ditto for Mats Zuccarello who's fast becoming the best little man in the NHL.

* Wouldn't it be the upset-of-all-upsets if John Tortorella bounces into another head coaching job in the world of Bettman, Inc.

* Don't know about you but I'm getting antsy wondering how the Capitals new high command will shape up and, more importantly, the name of new coach.

* Nothing displays the ugly side of partisan media coverage than the Montreal press trying to hang Chris Krieder for his accidental torpedoing of Carey Price.

* Put it this way, if Chicago does go on to win the Stanley Cup, the Blackhawks can legitimately be labelled a dynasty.

* No, the Portland Winterhawks didn't reach the Memorial Cup round but Mike Johnston's operation in Oregon ranks as the best in Major Junior hockey.

* Speaking of Portland, at this time last year the question around the Winterhawks was whether it would be wise for Seth Jones to play another year in the WHL or go to the bigs. Jones did right signing on with Nashville.

* Which is another way of saying that I was wrong in writing that he should have stayed with the Juniors.

* I'll believe Seattle will get an NHL franchise the minute the first spade hits the dirt for a new arena in the Washington State city that never seems to have an adequate big league hockey rink.

* You haven't noticed because there's nothing to hear about the NHL moving into Quebec City again. Simply put, Bettman, Inc. would rather not move into another small Canadian city with limited tv possibilities.

* Not that you'd hear that from the Commish; nor do I blame him for staying away from this delicate topic.

* Then again we've been fooled before. The thing about Quebec is that it's so quaint in a neat way; so hockey in the best way and so colorful in the francophone way.

* Joel Quenneville sure can coach, can't he! Ditto for Darryl Sutter. Ditto for Alain Vigneault.

* Hey, Michel Therrien would be aces behind the bench if he had a genuine goalie in the crease.

* Just curious, how do you feel about that Rooney fellow as a referee? The league seems to like him.

* I've always felt that the NHL awards should include playoff performances.

* That said Henrik Lundqvist would be leading for the Vezina.