In the west, the top two teams are probably Detroit and Anaheim. In the East.. probably Ottawa and Buffalo or NJ.
I'm pretty new to the NHL myself - only started keeping up with the Preds the year before the lockout when I worked for the company that designed their website (and got free tickets, often). Since then, I've been hooked. It's a great game - fast paced, intense rivalries, fighting, scoring, etc. But it really must be seen live to truly experience how great it is. For some reason, the game doesn't translate nearly as well on TV.