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%. The NHL All-Star Game is coming up this weekend and there will be no games from Thursday, 1/22 until Monday, 1/26.
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Buster’s Top-10 NHL Teams (Jan. 20-26)
1) WASHINGTON CAPITALS
The Capitals come off a 3-0 week. For a team that was starting to stumble, they showed with a great come back against the NYI and that’s why they are our Top team. All teams get a bye week during the All-star weekend and the Capitals will now not play until Monday January 27th. They have been Number 1 on our list for a while now and with St. Louis a very close second we are looking forward to what the capitals have in store for everyone the second half of the year.
2) ST LOUIS BLUES
This team is arguably the hardest working team in the NHL. (Pittsburgh is right there as well). This is what we said last week about the Blues and they showed it again this week. They were down to Philadelphia 3-1 in the third and fought back to only lose in the crapshoot that is NHL OT. This team never gives up and even though they went 1-2 this week, they still sit at Number 2 on our list. They did lose to the Avalanche again but that was on the road. They will play their next game on January 27th as they start the dreaded Western Canada road trip. Vladimir Tarasenko is still sidelined, but when/if he comes back this team will only get better. That is scary.
3) PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
The Penguins keep moving up our list as they now sit in the Number 3 spot. The Penguins went 3-1 on the week only losing a real tough one in Boston. They made up for that game, with a solid come from behind victory over the Bruins yesterday. The Penguins lost leading scorer Jake Guentzel a few weeks ago but Sidney Crosby is back and looking great. This team leaps over the Bruins and as the year continues, it will be interesting to see if they can get closer to the top. 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. They play Philadelphia on the road on Tuesday and meet that same club at home on the 31st after their break.
4) TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
Tampa Bay jumps up to the Number 4 spot on our list and they keep moving up. At the end of the day they could be the best in all of hockey. The NHL has so much parity that you can make a case easily for 5 or 6 teams to carry that mantra. Tampa Bay went 2-1 this week and now do not play until the 27th as they start back on the road for 4 more games. This club has now won 12 out of their last 14 games. It will be interesting to see if this club continues to be the team who, at the beginning of the year, was everyone’s favorite to win Lord Stanley.
5) BOSTON BRUINS
The Bruins look to have righted the ship after winning all 3 games this week. This is what we said last week and then they went and lost 3 out of 4 games this past week. That makes them on a brutal run of 4 and 6 in their past 10 games. This allows both the Penguins and the Lightning to jump over them and leaves them in the Number 5 spot on the list. The bruins play home to Vegas on Tuesday and then they do not play again until they start a small 2 game road trip in Winnipeg. This club has all the potential to be one of the best teams in the NHL, but unfortunately, that has not happened. Only time will tell but maybe all those long runs deep into the playoffs have started to catch up with this team.
6) COLORADO AVALANCHE
The Avalanche stay in their Number 6 spot this week as they went 2-1 on the week beating the Blues at home and their loss coming in OT. They play the lowly Red Wings this afternoon. As we said before they get the longest break of all clubs and do not play until Feb 1st. As we mentioned earlier, we believe there are 5 or 6 teams that when playing their best hockey could be the leagues best. This team is one of them. Although we are really confused by this club, as they seem to have everything, but there is something not right here. We will be keeping a close eye on this club and see if they can make a big run in the second half of the season.
7) COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
The Blue Jackets make their first appearance on our list and because so many of the bottom teams on our list have not been playing their best hockey, they fly right to the 7th spot. There is no doubt you can probably just give the coach of the year to HC John Tortorella right now. It is incredible what he has done with this club, especially losing so much talent in the off-season. Columbus plays a tough, gritty and very defensive type of hockey. What they lack in talent they make up with some great goaltending and a suffocating defensive system. This type of hockey takes you far in the playoffs, and this year Columbus will not sneak up on anyone if they make the playoffs. Really interested to see if this club can sustain this for the whole year. As for now, they have won 9 out of 11 games and have a eastern conference playoff spot. They are one of the last teams to start their bye week as they play Wednesday in Winnipeg. This team might turn out to be the feel good story of the 2019-2020 season.
8) LAS VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
The Golden Knights made, what we believe, to be a terrible decision this past week as they fired HC Gerard Gallant. In saying this, we do believe that new HC Peter DeBoer is an excellent coach. We believe he actually got a raw deal himself. Our problem is where is the loyalty to Gallant, who deserved to have a chance to reboot this club over the break. With all that aside, the Golden Knights went 1-2 this week but keep their spot on our list. We will give them a break with a small distraction they had. Vegas plays in Boston on Tuesday night before starting their bye week. They come back on the 31st in Carolina and continue their road trip with 4 more games. If they do not start winning games, they will be off the list in the next couple of weeks. There are tons of teams starting to streak and this is going to be a great second half to the NHL season.
9) DALLAS STARS
We keep Dallas on the list and they actually move up a spot even though they went 1-2 on the week. The reason for this is that we really believe that they are one of the Top 10 teams in the league, regardless of what the standings say. They still have won 7 out of their last 10 games and do not play until the 27th at home against Tampa Bay. We will watch closely to see if this club can get more offensive as the season continues. If they don’t they will be off this list soon, as playing in tight hockey games every night is a losing proposition in this league. We believe this team, if they kick it up a notch, have all the talent to be a club that can fight for the Western Conference spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs come June.
10) NY ISLANDERS
The Islanders are hanging from a thread in this spot but we give them a break here as they had to play 5 games this week. Unheard of in this NHL. They went 1-4 but playing 5 nights in 7 days will do that to any club. They do play the Rangers on Tuesday and then do not have to play until Feb. 1st. We truly believe that this team will be off the list fairly soon. However, they are a team we like, as they play that tough, gritty, never give up type of hockey. Unfortunately, for the Islanders, we do not believe they have the talent to sustain it for an entire 82 game schedule.
** DROPPING OUT THIS WEEK: CAROLINA**
MUST SEE GAMES THIS WEEK
TUESDAY – Las Vegas vs. Boston; Florida vs. Chicago; and Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia
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