Scott Zerr's picks

SCOTT ZERR -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 5:04 PM ET

WESTERN CONFERENCE

1. Vancouver - Questions in goal exist but Canucks have best lineup anywhere.

2. Dallas - Turco and Modano make this team hum along.

3. Detroit - Only up this high thanks to winning weak division.

4. Calgary - Cup finalists have added more talent and are now a favourite.

5. Colorado - Lineup lost key names but Sakic leads solid bunch.

6. Edmonton - Better by far but relying too heavily on hopes of scoring depth.

7. Phoenix - Gretzky's bunch will exceed expectations thanks to Cujo.

8. Anaheim - Niedermayer, Fedorov and Giguere get Ducks into playoffs.

9. Chicago - Arrival of Khabibulin starts Windy City Revival.

10. Los Angeles - Faceless names after Roenick and Robitaille.

11. San Jose - Sharks turning into chum.

12. Minnesota - In desperate need of help for Gaborik and Fernandez.

13. St. Louis - Colossal collapse.

14. Nashville - Kariya chose money over playoff potential.

15. Columbus - Very little there to complement Nash.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

1. Ottawa - One of the best bets to go all the way.

2. Philadelphia - A powerful crew featuring Forsberg.

3. Tampa Bay - Defending champs will be tough to knock off perch.

4. Montreal - Glory days returning with Theordore, Souray and Koivu.

5. New Jersey - Fewer big names but Brodeur still tops in the twine.

6. Pittsburgh - Mario and Sid hardly alone in revamped squad.

7. Boston - A top-notch goaltender would elevate their chances.

8. Atlanta - Surprise ascent because of knockout scoring punch.

9. Toronto - Not as bad as doomsday thinkers believe.

10. N.Y. Rangers - After Jagr, are there any standouts?

11. Florida - Can't go far on only strength in Luongo.

12. N.Y. Islanders - The '80s must seem like so long ago.

13. Buffalo - Sabres get stampeded by almost everyone.

14. Carolina - They were in the Cup final once, right?

15. Washington - Pity poor Olie the Goalie.


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