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%. This year, Buster has increased the bankroll of PuckLine viewers by +24.3-percent. Buster is hitting at a 64-percent clip (37-21-3) over their last 61 NHL releases.
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Buster’s Top-10 NHL Teams (Feb. 10 – 16)
1) TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
Tampa Bay jumps up to the Number 1 spot on our list after being number 4 two weeks ago. There is good reason for this. The Lightning have really shown that they are the best team in the NHL right now. They have won 18 out of their last 21 games, and since the break, they are 6-1. We said this last week that the NHL has so much parity that you could make a case easily for 5 or 6 teams to carry the best team mantra. That statement is getting truer by the day as any one of our Top 5/6 teams may win the Cup this year. Right now, the favorite is the Lightning and we agree for now.
2) WASHINGTON CAPITALS
The Capitals are 3-3 since the break and they had been Number 1 on our list for a while now. We drop them to Number 2 this week and they could be dropping more if their play does not pick up. They took a real ugly loss to Philadelphia on Saturday and they really have not looked like the club that was Number 1 on our list for most of the season. They have 3 games this week and we can really see them dropping down our list. We put them in the second spot only because of respect for how good they have played this year. One thing we do know if their PP that is ranked 13th does not pick it up, they will keep falling down the list.
3) PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
The Penguins keep their Number 3 spot for now, as the Top 6 teams on our list could really be interchangeable except for the Lightning at this time. The Penguins have only played 4 games since the break and went 3-1 in those games. This team was not even in our Top 10 to start the year, so we are very impressed with what HC Sullivan has done with these guys. This is what we said two weeks ago and it still holds true today. Pittsburgh will need to improve their special teams come playoff time and HC Sullivan is very capable in doing that. They are 7th on the PK but only 15th on the PP. We really believe you will see what should be a deadly PP become better in the next months. This means trouble for the rest of the clubs trying to hoist Lord Stanley at the end of the year.
4) BOSTON BRUINS
The Bruins do move up a spot with the Blues dropping. However, they truly could have been in spot Number 2 except they lost to Detroit yesterday. If you are a top team, you can do many things wrong but losing to Detroit is not one of them. That actually has been their only loss since their break winning 5 straight before that loss. There is no doubt they can move up the list next week especially as they have 3 very winnable games this week against Montreal, Detroit and NYR. They have the best combined special teams in the league with the 2nd best PP and the 4th best PK. Come playoff time, this is another team that can win it all and no doubt they might be sitting at Number 2 on our list at the end of the year.
5) COLORADO AVALNAHCE
The Avalanche have been playing some great hockey and do move up one spot on our list. They have played 5 games since the break and they were all on the road. They went a very impressive 4-1 in those games and now have won 7 out of their last 8 games. They now come home for 5 straight home games, although one is a neutral site game against the LA Kings on Saturday at Falcon Stadium. This will be the 2020 Stadium Series game and Colorado will be the home team as this game will be played only an hours drive from Denver. There is a HUGE concern for the Avalanche as they move towards the playoffs and that is special teams. They are 20th on the PP and 20th on the PK this year but that kind of consistency will not win you a Stanley Cup. We will keep an eye on this club to see if they get better in these departments, however for now they keep winning and that is all that matters.
6) ST. LOUIS BLUES
The Blues have really fell on some hard times since the break. We believe they are still a very good hockey club but there are so many others out there and because of this they drop down to 6th on our list. The Blues have come out limping after the break going 2-5 in their last 7 games. They have 4 games this week with a crucial back to back with the up and coming Predators on the weekend. This Blues club still leads the Western Conference and are one of 3 clubs tied for second in the odds to win the Stanley Cup. We just believe that the 5 teams above are better and we are right. These next two months will be very interesting for the Stanley Cup Champs.
7) COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
The Blue Jackets hold down the 7th spot as they are 3-2 since the break. This club has a great system set in place and HC John Tortorella is getting the most from every player on this club. They are getting unbelievable goaltending from anyone that they put in the nets and that wins hockey games. This club has real trouble scoring goals and that should be their downfall. We have been thinking this for a while but they have won 9 out of their last 11 games. They have 4 games this week with that dreading 3 games in 4 nights coming their way. We will see how they make out but no matter what they will keep a spot on this list next week. We just are not sure if it will be Number 7.
8) LAS VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
The Golden Knights still have not made any type of run but they have been playing better hockey since HC Peter DeBoer has taken over. They have gone 3-2 since the break but all their wins were on the road, so we are impressed with that. As of now, they hold one of the playoff spots. They play in Minnesota on Tuesday and then play the next 9 out of 10 games at the T-Mobile Arena. This will be a crucial part of the schedule (obviously) for Vegas. As long as the Golden Knights get back some of that home magic that they have had, they will be fine. If not, they could be on the outside looking in on the playoffs. The 19th ranked PK in the league is a concern for sure.
9) DALLAS STARS
We keep Dallas on the list for at least another week but they are on thin ice. (Pardon the pun) They have won 3 out of their 5 games coming out of the break, so that is a positive. They play 4 games this week with the deadly 3 games in 4 nights on the schedule. As long as they go 3-1 they will stay on the list. Anything else and we will have to see what the other clubs do. This team is better than what they have shown so far this year. If this club wants to make a mark in this years playoffs, they need to become better on special teams. They rank 11th on the PK and 18th on the PP. This might be good enough to make the playoffs but you will not go too far. We will keep an eye on a club that is very Jekyll and Hyde.
10) PHILADELPHIA FLYERS
The Flyers join our list in the last spot. We actually could have made a case for 4 other teams but we believe this Philadelphia club is one to watch out for in the next coming months. They are 7-3 in their last 10 games and they will be fighting for one of the final playoff spots at the end of the year. We were really impressed with the beat down they put on Washington on Saturday and that momentum should continue this week. They have 4 really tough games this week facing Florida twice, NYI and TB. We can see this Number 10 spot on our list being a revolving door for the next two months. However if the Flyers win 3 out of 4 we will give it to them next week.
** DROPPING OUT THIS WEEK: NY ISLANDERS**
MUST SEE GAMES THIS WEEK
TUESDAY – TAMPA BAY/PITTSBURGH and CHICAGO/EDMONTON
WEDNESDAY – MONTREAL/BOSTON
THURSDAY – DALLAS/TORONTO; EDMONTON/TAMPA BAY; WASHINGTON/COLORADO; and ST. LOUIS/LAS VEGAS
SATURDAY – PHILADELPHIA/TAMPA BAY; EDMONTON/FLORIDA; and CHICAGO/CALGARY
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