You're right. For the most part, none of us has a clue what is actually going to happen during the season.
However, there are some things that are guaranteed. Here's my list of ten things that WILL happen this year:
1. There will be at least one team that surprises everybody and makes the playoffs.
2. There will be at least one team that everyone thinks will make the playoffs, but won't.
3. There will be at least 3 major stars going down with serious injuries.
4. A rookie goal tender will surprise everyone and play well.
5. A rookie skater will surprise everyone and play well.
6. Most free-agent signings will be a bust.
7. Players in contract years will play well. (Frolov)
8. Several coaches (and GM's) will be fired.
9. The Honda Center will implode (empty, everyone's ok) leaving a mile deep hole in the ground. The Ducks will be forced to play at a small, local rink. That too will implode, thereby forcing the league to contract the team as no one else is willing to take a chance on possible implodation.
10. The Kings will win the cup.
Ok, so the last two aren't guarantees, but we can dream, right?