NHL Power Ranking: Tampa Bay Lightning Are #1 Based on Computer Projection

1TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING 4-3-1 | Projection: 108.9 Points
Win 67% of Neutral Ice Simulations

Even with the juice, the Lightning are a good betting value. Their 27.2% chance to win the championship (based on simulations) is #1 in the league. Current Odds are 6/1, 14.3%. They are projected to finish with 109 points and live up to their pre-season futures line of 108.5. Based on wins per simulation they are projected to have the best record in the East. Based on money line odds their expected record at this point of the season is 4.6-3.4. At 4-3-1 they are short of expectations. Their 62-16-4 record last season was way ahead of what was expected of them. Their game-by-game odds gave them a projected record of 49.4-32.6. In terms of money line profit, they were one of the best teams at +1714.

2WASHINGTON CAPITALS 5-2-2 | Projection: 105.2 Points
Win 62% of Neutral Ice Simulations

The Capitals are projected to have over 100 points again which would be over their 97.5 line. They are averaging 107 points per sim which is significantly higher than their O/U points total. They had 104 points last season, they should finish with at least 100 points and contend for the Stanley Cup again. They win the championship in 12.7% of simulations which makes them a good betting value. Current Odds are 20/1, 4.8%. They are projected to finish with 105 points and go over their pre-season futures line of 97.5. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #3 in the East. After 9 games, their expected win percentage is 52% based on the money line odds. They are ahead of expectations with their 5-2-2 record. Based on last season's game odds they 'should have had' 44.6 wins. Their 48-26-8 record last season was ahead of what was expected of them. In terms of money line profit, they were one of the best teams at +305.

3VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 6-3-0 | Projection: 102 Points
Win 58% of Neutral Ice Simulations

Oddsmakers set Vegas' point total line at 103.5 so even with a projected 100 points the bet is Under. Our projection recommends not betting on them to win it all. Their 8.1% chance is #3 in the league. Current Odds are 7/1, 12.5%. They are projected to finish with 102 points and come in under their pre-season futures line of 102.5. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #2 in the West. After 9 games, their expected win percentage is 59% based on the money line odds. They are ahead of expectations with their 6-3 record. Their 43-32-7 record last season failed to meet expectations. Their game-by-game odds projected record was 46.5-35.5. Putting a 100 units on them to win every game would have cost you -1070 units. They are worse in our neutral power ranking where they are ranked just #6 in the league.

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4ST. LOUIS BLUES 3-2-3 | Projection: 99.5 Points
Win 59% of Neutral Ice Simulations

Expect their record to get better based on their much stronger power ranking. Vegas has the O/U for the Blues set at 96.5 points this season while our projections have them outscoring that at 103 points. They were the worst team in the league during the first half last season, if they can stay at the league average to start the season they should hit this over. A year under Jordan Binnington's belt can only help. If futures lines were not heavily juiced, the Blues would be a good betting value. Their 7.3% chance to win the championship (based on simulations) is #4 in the league. Current Odds are 12/1, 7.7%. They are projected to finish with 100 points and go over their pre-season futures line of 96.5. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #5 in the West. After 8 games, their expected win percentage is 57% based on the money line odds. They are coming up well short of expectations with their 3-2-3 record. They were expected to win 52% of their games last season so their 45-28-9 met expectations. They were very good against the money line (+382).

5SAN JOSE SHARKS 3-5-0 | Projection: 96.9 Points
Win 58% of Neutral Ice Simulations

Expect their record to get better based on their much stronger power ranking. They are worse in our neutral power ranking where they are ranked just #7 in the league. Our computer projection is higher on the Sharks than most anyone outside of San Jose. They are projected for 104 points, well over 94.5 that Vegas has and are making the playoffs in 92% of simluations (line -190, 65.5%). The Sharks are healthy this season and built up some chemistry after playing together for a year now. This team will contend this season and I wouldn't be surprised if they win their division. Take the over. They win the championship in 6.7% of simulations which makes them a good betting value. Current Odds are 30/1, 3.2%. They are projected to finish with 97 points and go over their pre-season futures line of 94.5. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #4 in the West. Based on money line odds their expected record at this point of the season is 4-4. At 3-5 they are short of expectations. They were expected to win 58% of their games last season so their 46-27-9 met expectations. Money Line bettors lost -422 on them.

6TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS 5-3-1 | Projection: 103 Points
Win 60% of Neutral Ice Simulations

If healthy on a neutral field they have a better power ranking (#3 in the league). They are not a good bet to win the championship. Their 6.6% chance is #6 in the league. Current Odds are 10/1, 9.1%. They are projected to finish with 103 points and live up to their pre-season futures line of 102.5. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #4 in the East. After 9 games, their expected win percentage is 59% based on the money line odds. At 5-3-1 they are in line with these expectations. They were expected to win 58% of their games last season so their 46-28-8 met expectations. Against the money line they lost -414 units.

7COLORADO AVALANCHE 7-0-1 | Projection: 114.1 Points
Win 57% of Neutral Ice Simulations

Expect them to fade in the standings because their record based ranking is much better based on their power ranking. Their championship based ranking is much better than their #10 ranking based on our neutral field simulations. The Colorado Avalanche are a good, young team and they are still improving. They added Cale Makar who should make an impact immediately and Phillip Grubauer will be their starting goalie with Semyon Varlamov gone. I like this team to exceed expectations. They are not a good bet to win the championship. Their 6.3% chance is #7 in the league. Current Odds are 10/1, 9.1%. They are projected to finish with 114 points and go over their pre-season futures line of 97.5. Based on wins per simulation they are projected to have the best record in the West. After 8 games, their expected win percentage is 49% based on the money line odds. At 7-0-1 they are well ahead of expectations. Their 38-30-14 record last season failed to meet expectations. Their expected win percentage was 51%. Anyone betting on them to win every game would have lost a lot (-1030) based on a 100 unit risk per game.

8PITTSBURGH PENGUINS 6-3-0 | Projection: 104.3 Points
Win 58% of Neutral Ice Simulations

Their power ranking is worse than their record would indicate. The Penguins had 100 points last season but Vegas has them falling back to 95.5 this season. Our projection is for 98 points which means bet the Over. They are also a good bet at -200 to make the playoffs with a sim% of 82.7%. The Penguins are a safe bet just about every season, and they'll contend once again even without Phil Kessel. I expect them to reach the 100 point plateau again. They are a good bet to win the championship (6.1 percent chance). Current Odds are 30/1, 3.2%. They are projected to finish with 104 points and go over their pre-season futures line of 97.5. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #2 in the East. Based on money line odds their expected record at this point of the season is 4.9-4.1. They are beating expectations with their 6-3 record. They were expected to win 56% of their games last season so their 44-26-12 met expectations. Money Line bettors lost -522 on them.

9BOSTON BRUINS 5-1-2 | Projection: 103.1 Points
Win 59% of Neutral Ice Simulations

If healthy on a neutral field they have a much better power ranking (#4 in the league). Their 5.7% chance is #9 in the league which is not high enough to be a good bet. Current Odds are 10/1, 9.1%. They are projected to finish with 103 points and go over their pre-season futures line of 100.5. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #5 in the East. Based on money line odds their expected record at this point of the season is 4.3-3.7. At 5-1-2 they ahead of expectations. Their 49-24-9 record last season was ahead of what was expected of them. Their game-by-game odds gave them a projected record of 46.4-35.6. Taking them on the money line in every game turned a +164 profit.

10CALGARY FLAMES 4-4-1 | Projection: 91.4 Points
Win 57% of Neutral Ice Simulations

The Flames are exceeding regular season betting line expectations. They are projected for nearly 100 points (over 96.5) and with an 89% chance to make the playoffs they are a good bet at -220, 68.8%. Even with the juice, the Flames are a good betting value. Their 4.1% chance to win the championship (based on simulations) is #10 in the league. Current Odds are 30/1, 3.2%. They are projected to finish with 91 points and come in under their pre-season futures line of 96.5. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #8 in the West. After 9 games, their expected win percentage is 55% based on the money line odds. At 4-4-1 they are coming up well short of expectations. Based on last season's game odds they 'should have had' 45.9 wins. Their 50-25-7 record last season was ahead of what was expected of them. They were very good against the money line (+439). Their power ranking is much better than their record would indicate.

11WINNIPEG JETS 4-5-0 | Projection: 94.6 Points
Win 56% of Neutral Ice Simulations

At -190, 65.5% to make the playoffs and a 87% sim percentage we say bet on the Jets to make the playoffs and to go over 96.5 points. They win the championship in 3.4% of simulations which makes them a good betting value. Current Odds are 40/1, 2.4%. They are projected to finish with 95 points and go over their pre-season futures line of 93.5. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #6 in the West. After 9 games, their expected win percentage is 48% based on the money line odds. At 4-5 they are short of expectations. They were expected to win 55% of their games last season so their 47-30-5 met expectations. They broke even against the money line. They were down slightly (-46) against the money line. Their power ranking is better than their record would indicate.

12NASHVILLE PREDATORS 4-3-1 | Projection: 99 Points
Win 53% of Neutral Ice Simulations

Their 2% chance is #12 in the league which is not high enough to be a good bet. Current Odds are 16/1, 5.9%. They are projected to finish with 99 points and go over their pre-season futures line of 97.5. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #3 in the West. Based on money line odds their expected record at this point of the season is 4.6-3.4. They are coming up short of expectations at 4-3-1. They were expected to win 58% of their games last season so their 47-29-6 met expectations. Against the money line they lost -325 units.

13FLORIDA PANTHERS 3-2-3 | Projection: 100.6 Points
Win 53% of Neutral Ice Simulations

Expect them to fade in the standings because their record based ranking is better based on their power ranking. Vegas expects Florida to significantly improve on their 86 points. Their line is 96.5 points and they are -240 to make the playoffs. The sims also have them improving, but to just 92 points (bet under) and a 57% to make the playoffs. They are not a good bet to win the championship. Their 1.3% chance is #13 in the league. Current Odds are 30/1, 3.2%. They are projected to finish with 101 points and go over their pre-season futures line of 95.5. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #6 in the East. After 8 games, their expected win percentage is 48% based on the money line odds. They are coming up short of expectations at 3-2-3. Their 36-32-14 record last season failed to meet expectations. Their expected win percentage was 49%. Anyone betting on them to win every game would have lost a lot (-1114) based on a 100 unit risk per game.

14CAROLINA HURRICANES 6-3-0 | Projection: 95.3 Points
Win 52% of Neutral Ice Simulations

The Hurricanes won their fourth game in a row to start the season Tuesday night. They are now projected for 97 points which would be over their preseason 95.5 point total. They were projected to go 2-2 to start the season, so they are outperforming expectations. They are not a good bet to win the championship. Their 0.8% chance is #14 in the league. Current Odds are 16/1, 5.9%. They are projected to finish with 95 points and come in under their pre-season futures line of 95.5. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #7 in the East. After 9 games, their expected win percentage is 54% based on the money line odds. At 6-3 they are well ahead of expectations. They were expected to win 54% of their games last season so their 46-29-7 met expectations. Against the money line they turned a +52 profit. They broke even against the money line.

15MONTREAL CANADIENS 4-2-2 | Projection: 93.9 Points
Win 52% of Neutral Ice Simulations

Our projection recommends not betting on them to win it all. Their 0.7% chance is #15 in the league. Current Odds are 60/1, 1.6%. They are projected to finish with 94 points and go over their pre-season futures line of 89.5. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #9 in the East. After 8 games, their expected win percentage is 49% based on the money line odds. At 4-2-2 they are in line with these expectations. Their 44-30-8 record last season was ahead of what was expected of them. Their game-by-game odds gave them a projected record of 40.7-41.3. They performed solidly on the money line turning a +192 profit (100 units per).

16CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS 2-2-1 | Projection: 86.8 Points
Win 48% of Neutral Ice Simulations

Their 0.3% chance is #16 in the league which is not high enough to be a good bet. Current Odds are 60/1, 1.6%. They are projected to finish with 87 points and come in under their pre-season futures line of 89.5. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #10 in the West. Based on money line odds their expected record at this point of the season is 2.6-2.4. At 2-2-1 they are short of expectations. They were expected to win 45% of their games last season so their 36-34-12 met expectations. Against the money line they lost -250 units. They are worse in our neutral power ranking where they are ranked just #18 in the league.

17NEW YORK ISLANDERS 5-3-0 | Projection: 90.7 Points
Win 48% of Neutral Ice Simulations

The Islanders had a great season with 103 points, but Vegas expects them to only have 94.5 points this season. The sims have them falling off even more with just 89 points and a 45% chance to make the playoffs (odds are -180). They are not a good bet to win the championship. Their 0.2% chance is #17 in the league. Current Odds are 50/1, 2%. They are projected to finish with 91 points and come in under their pre-season futures line of 91.5. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #10 in the East. After 8 games, their expected win percentage is 50% based on the money line odds. At 5-3 they ahead of expectations. They overachieved last season. Their game odds projected to 40 wins. Their 48-27-7 record last season was way ahead of what was expected of them. They were very good against the money line (+1391).

18ARIZONA COYOTES 4-2-1 | Projection: 92 Points
Win 44% of Neutral Ice Simulations

They are not a good bet to win the championship. Their 0.2% chance is #18 in the league. Current Odds are 60/1, 1.6%. They are projected to finish with 92 points and go over their pre-season futures line of 89.5. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #9 in the West. After 7 games, their expected win percentage is 49% based on the money line odds. At 4-2-1 they ahead of expectations. They were expected to win 45% of their games last season so their 39-35-8 met expectations. In terms of money line profit, they were one of the best teams at +364. Their championship based ranking is much better than their #22 ranking based on our neutral field simulations.

19EDMONTON OILERS 7-1-0 | Projection: 94.7 Points
Win 43% of Neutral Ice Simulations

Scout is not projecting Edmonton to have a very good season with just 81.6 points per season simulation which means bet the under 85.5 line. They are -300 to miss the playoffs and the sim says they only have a 16.5% chance to make the playoffs. The 83.5% they do not make the playoffs is much higher than the 75% implied probability. They are not a good bet to win the championship. Their 0.1% chance is #19 in the league. Current Odds are 30/1, 3.2%. They are projected to finish with 95 points and go over their pre-season futures line of 85.5. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #7 in the West. After 8 games, their expected win percentage is 52% based on the money line odds. At 7-1 they are well ahead of expectations. Their 35-38-9 record last season failed to meet expectations. Their game-by-game odds projected record was 39-43. Putting a 100 units on them to win every game would have cost you -1167 units. Their power ranking is worse than their record would indicate. They are much worse in our neutral power ranking where they are ranked just #24 in the league.

20VANCOUVER CANUCKS 4-3-0 | Projection: 84.1 Points
Win 45% of Neutral Ice Simulations

Vancouver is at +180, 35.7% to make the playoffs but in simulations this only happens 21% of the time. They are projected for 83 points which is well under their 88.5 line. They put up 81 points last season, so even with an improvement they should still finish under their O/U points total. They do not have any real chance to win the championship. Current Odds are 50/1, 2%. They are projected to finish with 84 points and come in under their pre-season futures line of 88.5. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #11 in the West. After 7 games, their expected win percentage is 47% based on the money line odds. They are ahead of expectations with their 4-3 record. They were expected to win 41% of their games last season so their 35-36-11 met expectations. Against the money line they turned a +65 profit. They broke even against the money line.

21NEW YORK RANGERS 2-3-0 | Projection: 85.8 Points
Win 42% of Neutral Ice Simulations

The Rangers only had 78 points last season but Vegas expects a large +10 point improvement with 88.5 points. Our projection splits the difference with an 84 point projection. While not completely impossible, their chances of winning the championship is under 0.1 percent. Current Odds are 40/1, 2.4%. They are projected to finish with 86 points and come in under their pre-season futures line of 88.5. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #11 in the East. Based on money line odds their expected record at this point of the season is 2.4-2.6. At 2-3 they are short of expectations. They were expected to win 42% of their games last season so their 32-36-14 met expectations. Against the money line they lost -600 units.

22BUFFALO SABRES 7-1-1 | Projection: 95.7 Points
Win 41% of Neutral Ice Simulations

With just 78 projected points the Sabres are not a good Over bet with a line of 83.5 points. They win the championship in less than 0.1% of simulations. Current Odds are 30/1, 3.2%. They are projected to finish with 96 points and go over their pre-season futures line of 84.5. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #8 in the East. Based on money line odds their expected record at this point of the season is 4.1-4.9. At 7-1-1 they are well ahead of expectations. Their 33-39-10 record last season failed to meet expectations. Their expected win percentage was 45%. Anyone betting on them to win every game would have lost a lot (-1309) based on a 100 unit risk per game. Their power ranking is much worse than their record would indicate.

23ANAHEIM DUCKS 6-2-0 | Projection: 80.5 Points
Win 38% of Neutral Ice Simulations

The Ducks had a tough season last year and ended up with 80 points. I expect them to regress as they did not get better, which would keep them well under the 82.5 point line for the season. While not completely impossible, their chances of winning the championship is under 0.1 percent. Current Odds are 30/1, 3.2%. They are projected to finish with 80 points and come in under their pre-season futures line of 82.5. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #12 in the West. After 8 games, their expected win percentage is 47% based on the money line odds. They are beating expectations with their 6-2 record. They were expected to win 44% of their games last season so their 35-37-10 met expectations. Money Line bettors lost -404 on them.

24PHILADELPHIA FLYERS 2-3-1 | Projection: 80.7 Points
Win 46% of Neutral Ice Simulations

If healthy on a neutral field they have a much better power ranking (#20 in the league). The Flyers' betting line is 90.5 points (up from 82 last season). They are projected to improve to 85 points which means bet the Under. Offseason additions should help them, but their competition in the Metro division improved as well. Take the under. While not completely impossible, their chances of winning the championship is under 0.1 percent. Current Odds are 30/1, 3.2%. They are projected to finish with 81 points and come in under their pre-season futures line of 90.5. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #12 in the East. Based on money line odds their expected record at this point of the season is 3-3. At 2-3-1 they are coming up well short of expectations. They were expected to win 48% of their games last season so their 37-37-8 met expectations. Anyone betting on them to win every game would have lost a lot (-884) based on a 100 unit risk per game.

25DALLAS STARS 2-7-1 | Projection: 74.2 Points
Win 50% of Neutral Ice Simulations

They are much better in our neutral power ranking. Their sim win percentage vs every other team on a neutral field has them as the #16 team in the league. The Dallas Stars are only projected 86 points this season with a points O/U set for 97.5. Ben Bishop exceeded expectations last season, and I expect him to regress. Even with their performance last season, they had 93 points which is still four points off their points O/U this season. Take the under. They do not have any real chance to win the championship. Current Odds are 20/1, 4.8%. They are projected to finish with 74 points and come in under their pre-season futures line of 97.5. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #13 in the West. Based on money line odds their expected record at this point of the season is 4.9-5.1. At 2-7-1 they are coming up well short of expectations. They were expected to win 50% of their games last season so their 43-32-7 met expectations. Against the money line they turned a +48 profit. They broke even against the money line.

26COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS 3-3-2 | Projection: 74.9 Points
Win 46% of Neutral Ice Simulations

They are much better in our neutral power ranking. Their sim win percentage vs every other team on a neutral field has them as the #19 team in the league. They are projected to go 39-34-9 for 87 points which is over the 82.5 betting line. And even though they are only making the playoffs in 33% of simulations they are a good longshot bet at +350, 22.2%. They do not have any real chance to win the championship. Current Odds are 200/1, 0.5%. They are projected to finish with 75 points and come in under their pre-season futures line of 84.5. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #14 in the East. Based on money line odds their expected record at this point of the season is 3.6-4.4. At 3-3-2 they are short of expectations. Their 47-31-4 record last season was ahead of what was expected of them. Their expected win percentage was 54%. They were very good against the money line (+201).

27NEW JERSEY DEVILS 2-4-2 | Projection: 77.6 Points
Win 42% of Neutral Ice Simulations

The Devils were just 31-41-10 for 72 points last season but this season is expected to be much better with 80 points. But this is still well under the betting line of 88.5 and they are not a good bet to make the playoffs at +140, 41.7% (sim says 11%). They win the championship in less than 0.1% of simulations. Current Odds are 60/1, 1.6%. They are projected to finish with 78 points and come in under their pre-season futures line of 90.5. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #13 in the East. Based on money line odds their expected record at this point of the season is 4-4. At 2-4-2 they are coming up well short of expectations. Their 31-41-10 record last season failed to meet expectations. Their game-by-game odds projected record was 35.5-46.5. Putting a 100 units on them to win every game would have cost you -1392 units.

28MINNESOTA WILD 1-6-0 | Projection: 70.6 Points
Win 43% of Neutral Ice Simulations

If healthy on a neutral field they have a much better power ranking (#23 in the league). The Wild had 83 points last season and the Vegas odds have them at 84.5 points. Our projection puts them under this. Devin Dubnyk will be a stud for them in net, but they didn't improve much over the offseason. I would expect a points total around the same as last season when they had 83 points. Take the under. They are projected to finish with 71 points and come in under their pre-season futures line of 87.5. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #14 in the West. Their playoff chances are under 1%. After 7 games, their expected win percentage is 44% based on the money line odds. They are coming up well short of expectations with their 1-6 record. Their 37-36-9 record last season was very disappointing. Their game-by-game odds projected record was 42.2-39.8. Anyone betting on them to win every game would have lost a lot (-931) based on a 100 unit risk per game.

29DETROIT RED WINGS 3-5-0 | Projection: 71.8 Points
Win 42% of Neutral Ice Simulations

If healthy on a neutral field they have a much better power ranking (#25 in the league). They are projected to finish with 72 points and come in under their pre-season futures line of 76.5. Their average wins per simulation puts them at #15 in the East. Their playoff chances are under 1%. Based on money line odds their expected record at this point of the season is 3-5. At 3-5 they are in line with these expectations. They were expected to win 39% of their games last season so their 32-40-10 met expectations. They broke even against the money line. They were down slightly (-79) against the money line.

30LOS ANGELES KINGS 3-5-0 | Projection: 68.4 Points
Win 33% of Neutral Ice Simulations

Last season the Kings only had 71 points and Vegas expects a slight improvement to 74.5 this season. The simulations have them at just 66 points. They are projected to finish with 68 points and come in under their pre-season futures line of 74.5. In simulations they finish last in the West based on projected wins. Their playoff chances are under 1%. Based on money line odds their expected record at this point of the season is 3.3-4.7. At 3-5 they are in line with these expectations. Oddsmakers expected them to win 35.4 based on their money line game odds. Their 31-42-9 record last season failed to meet expectations. Anyone betting on them to win every game would have lost a lot (-1158) based on a 100 unit risk per game.

31OTTAWA SENATORS 1-5-1 | Projection: 62.4 Points
Win 38% of Neutral Ice Simulations

Ottawa only had 64 points last season and their betting line this season is just 68.5, but the projections have them at 77 points making them a very strong over. Tough to believe. They are projected to finish with 62 points and come in under their pre-season futures line of 70.5. In simulations they finish last in the East based on projected wins. Even at this early point in the season the simulations have already eliminated them from playoff contention. They were a +1500 'underdog' to make the playoffs in the preseason. Based on money line odds their expected record at this point of the season is 2.4-4.6. At 1-5-1 they are coming up well short of expectations. They were expected to win 37% of their games last season so their 29-47-6 met expectations. Against the money line they lost -633 units.