There were only a few games this past week in the NHL so instead of doing a Buster’s Top-10, we will do a report on all 31 NHL clubs giving them grades for the first half of the hockey season. Buster’s Top-10 will be back on February 10th as we are in Miami for the Super Bowl next week. 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 NHL Mid-Season Grades
BOSTON BRUINS: GRADE A
The Bruins came out of the gate looking like the best team in hockey. They have really stumbled coming up to the All-Star break going 5 and 6 in their last 11 games. The fact that this club is second in points, 3rd on the PP and 4th on the PK gives them every advantage to be the best team in this league by the end of the regular season and another run deep in the Eastern Conference playoffs and who knows maybe a Stanley Cup Final.
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING: GRADE B+
Tampa Bay had struggled early in the year as their defense has not been the best and their goaltending has not been where it should be. Well a 12 -2 finish to get to the All-Star break and all of the sudden what we believe to be the best team in hockey is starting to look the part. All systems are go for a great second half of the season and a run to the Eastern Conference final.
FLORIDA PANTHERS: GRADE B+
The Panthers come to the break with a 6 game winning streak and have a real chance at making the playoffs this year. They play some exciting offense, but they allow 3.27 goals per game that will definitely need to be better as the season goes on. They paid Sergei Bobrovsky a lot of money to help keep the puck out of the net but an 8.98 save percentage will not get it done. They have HC Joel Quenneville and he will be a big reason why we believe you see the Panthers in the post season this year.
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS: GRADE C
This club is a total mess. After firing HC Mike Babcock, the Leafs went on a nice run outscoring their opponents, however reality has set back in and they have now lost 5 out of their last 6 games. This team has no defense and considering they were one of the favorites to win Lord Stanley at the beginning of the year we are being nice in grading them so high. They will fight for a playoff spot and this year G Frederik Andersen will not be able to save them. Another disappointing season to come for the hated Leafs. Even if they get a playoff berth they will be gone in the first round AGAIN.
BUFFALO SABRES: GRADE B+
The Sabres just like last year started strong, however unlike last year they are still hanging around and battling for a playoff spot. Special teams and inconsistent goaltending has been the downfall for the Sabres. They are a young team and they are playing better than what we expected. Unfortunately, they will fall short of a playoff spot as the Eastern Conference just as the Western has a ton of parity. The future is bright for the Sabres they will just have to wait another year.
MONTRAL CANADIENS: GRADE C+
Not much was expected for this club this year and they have played ok for most of the year. The injury bug has really hurt Montreal, as they have to play a team concept, as they have no real stand out superstars except for Price. Will be interesting to see if the Habs front office gets rid of Price and Weber at the trade deadline. Just like the Sabres, the future is bright for the Canadiens but they will just ruin other clubs playoffs aspirations this year in the next few months.
OTTAWA SENATORS: GRADE C
The Senators have played much better than we could have ever imagined and that is why they get such a good rating from us. This team gives 150% almost every game and that is more than we can say about teams that have talent in this league. This club should be fighting for last place but they actually have more points than 3 other clubs in the league and we find that amazing. It will be a long second half of the season for Ottawa as most clubs step it up and we have seen the best from this club already this year.
DETROIT RED WINGS: GRADE F
This club is by far the worse club in the NHL. They do play much better at home and have been competitive at times, but a franchise with now Steve Yzerman running the show should be embarrassed for the product that is not NHL caliber. Their number 1 G Jimmy Howard is 2-19-2 on the season. No more needs to be said. We will be very interested to see what this club becomes in the next few years. The future is definitely not bright in Detroit.
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