NHL early season predictions

Posted: Oct. 7, 2010 5:20 p.m. CT

Kevin Gorg
foxsportsnorth.com

WESTERN CONFERENCE PREDICTIONS

1. VANCOUVER- Adding Dan Hamhuis and Keith Ballard make this one of the strongest bluelines in the league. Plus, Luongo in goal and depth up front. Cup favorite!
2. SAN JOSE- Finnish duo of Niemi and Nittymaki in net with the best top line (Marleau-Thornton-Heatley) in the game, though they’ll need to prove it in the post season.
3. DETROIT- Jimmy Howard keeps getting better in net and Mike Modano can bolster an already scary good power-play. Major contender for top honors!
4. LA KINGS- Only four teams scored more times with the extra man last season and this young, talented team is hungry for more.