Busters Sports will be releasing their Top-10 NHL teams each week of the 2019-20 season. They will not be the top-10 teams in terms of league standings, but what we believe are the teams that are deserving of the top spots in the NHL. Buster Sports dominated the NHL last year with a record of 166-126-9, making their clients a PROFIT OF 115.68%.
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Buster’s Top-10 NHL Teams (Dec. 16 – 22)
1) WASHINGTON CAPITALS
This is the best team in the league right now and truthfully, it does not look like anyone is close. This is what we started with last week and the Capitals proved it again this week, that they are the best team in the NHL. They beat both the Bruins and Lightning last week and no matter what happens in their upcoming 3 games this week, they will stay our Number 1. One of the reasons they are so good is their special teams, as they Rank 4th on the PK and they Rank 5th on the PP. They have great veteran leadership and have had some solid goaltending most of the year. This club is going to be very tough to be pushed out of that Number 1 spot this year.
2) BOSTON BRUINS
We said in last weeks Top 10 list that even if the Bruins go 1-3 they will keep their second place spot. Well that is exactly what happened as they went 1-3 on the week, losing albeit on the road, to two of the teams they will need to beat to get to the Stanley Cup final in Washington and Tampa Bay. They have 3 games this week all at home and winning 2 out of 3 is a must or they will fall from the Number 2 spot. The only thing saving them from the fall this week is the fact that we believe even with this bad run that they are still the second best team in this league.
3) NEW YORK ISLANDERS
The NYI will hold pat at number 3 this week again as they won all 3 games this week. They beat the Lightning on the road and that was a very impressive win. We are not too sure how long this club can stay near the top of our list as special teams wise they are just an average club. We are sure that if the special teams don’t start getting better they will start to lose and will fall from our list. However, they might be one of the best “teams” in the league and as you know, we believe that is key to the NHL. They play 3 games this week and one of the games will be on the road in Boston. If they win, 2 out of 3 they are good for another week in 3rd. However, 1 and 2 brings a chance they could drop down a spot on our list.
4) COLORADO AVALANCHE
As the creator of this list, we really cannot wait to move this team up the rankings, but for now the Avalanche stay at Number 4. This team has now won 8 out of 9 games with that loss being in OT to Calgary. They have all of their top offensive stars back and playing in Miko Rantanen, Gabriel Landeskog and Andre Burakovsky. However, they have lost D Cale Makar at least until the weekend and still do not have their best defenseman in Erik Johnson. Once these guys are back they might never lose. (obviously just kidding) Colorado has 4 games this week and only an 0-4 could drop them from their 4th spot.
5) SAINT LOUIS BLUES
The Blues had another solid week as they went 2-1 and because of that, they keep their spot at Number 5. They still lead the Central division as the Avalanche breath down the back of their necks. The key for the Blues so far this year is that they have won a ton of close games. This team only has a plus 9-goal differential and teams with that low of a goal differential normally do not lead a division. Not sure how long this club will hang in the Number 5 spot as they still have a few injuries and truthfully, they are not one of our favorites. They play 3 games this week and tonight will be a good one as they play the Avalanche. If they can win 2 out of 3 they will keep their spot.
6) ARIZONA COYOTES
The Arizona Coyotes are the leaders of the Pacific and they will keep spot number 6 on the list just because of this reason. The Coyotes had one of their worst weeks of the season going 1-2 and losing to the lowly Devils. They still are getting great goaltending from Raanta and Kuemper and as long as this is the case, they will be on our list for quite some time. We said this last week and that still holds true after this week. They play 3 games this week and as long as they win two out of those 3 they will keep their spot at Number 6.
7) DALLAS STARS
The Dallas Stars move up a spot on the list as the Edmonton Oilers dropped out of their 7th spot and right off the list. Dallas had a good week winning 2 out of their 3 games. They have now won 4 out of their last 5. Scoring is still an issue but putting up 4 goals on the road at Nashville might get this club putting more pucks in the net. They have a brutal schedule this week playing 4 games and it will be interesting to see how this club plays having to deal with such a strange scheduling spot. If the Stars can go 2-2 they will keep spot number 7 for another week.
8) WINNIPEG JETS
The Jets continue to move up our list as in the last two weeks teams that were above them have now fell completely out of the list. The Jets won 2 out 3 games last week and that makes it 10 out of the last 14 games with a win. We are not sure how long the Jets can sustain this pace, as their special teams are terrible. They stand 19th on the PP and they stand 28th on the PK. Eventually this will become a problem for this club, as top teams do not stay on top with that kind of special teams. They are getting unbelievable goaltending from Connor Hellebuyck as he sports a .930 save percentage and that is a good part of the reason they have won so many games. They have 3 games this week and 2-1 keeps them in their spot.
9) PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
The Penguins continue to win games and they now have won 5 out of their last 6 games. The Penguins like the other two clubs before them move up a notch on the list with the loss of Edmonton. Pittsburgh gets a not so nice early Christmas present as the scheduler gives them the nasty 3 game Western Canada road trip before the XMAS break. Although on the plus side, their last game is Saturday, which gives them a longer break than most teams. If they win 2 out of 3 they will keep their spot. We know that this is something we often say but we are not going to penalize clubs that have winning weeks, only losing weeks drop you down the list.
10) LAS VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
We welcome our former Number 1 team back to the list this week and they deserve to be back. Vegas has now won 7 out of their last 10 games and had to do some of it without Number 1 goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. What has been helping the Golden Knights is their special teams. Vegas are in the top 10 in both PP and PK sitting at 7th and 9th respectively. They have 3 games this week before the XMAS break and as we have said with most of the clubs this week 2 out of 3 wins keeps them on the list. We actually believe that this club will start to climb this list as the season moves on however it will be a watch and see process.
** DROPPING OUT THIS WEEK: EDMONTON**
MUST SEE GAMES THIS WEEK
MONDAY – COLORADO/ST. LOUIS
TUESDAY – PITTSBURGH/CALGARY and NASHVILLE/NY ISLANDERS
THURSDAY – DALLAS/TAMPA BAY; NY ISLANDERS/BOSTON; MONTREAL/CALGARY; and CAROLINA/COLORADO
SATURDAY – TAMPA BAY/WASHINGTON and NASHVILLE/BOSTON
SUNDAY – LAS VEGAS/SAN JOSE
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