Since the Canes aren't defending the Cup this spring, it's easy for me to make predictions. I think Buffalo and Ottawa are the two best teams in the East, and I hope there's at least one upset (probably the Rangers over the Thrash) that will allow the Sabres and Sens to meet in the East final. I think that would be a great series, and I think Buffalo will win it. So I'm going with Buffalo, Jersey, Ottawa, and the Rangers in the first round. Then Buffalo over NYR and Ottawa over the Devils, and the Sabres representing the East in the Cup final.
Out west, of course, it's a lot harder to predict things. In the first round I'll take Detroit (although I'd love the upset), Anaheim, Dallas (each game 1-0?), and San Jose. I'm going to pick San Jose and Detroit for the two conference finalists (although San Jose vs. Anaheim is going to be a great series) and San Jose to win the west.
And Buffalo's depth will be enough to beat San Jose, or for that matter whichever team survives that brutal West.
And like all playoff predictions, these are value-free: worth the paper you didn't print them on.