The Detroit Red Wings is the best hockey team in the NHL-USA, with the most Stanley Cups, 11 in total. They are the first team in the league to win the award two years in a row —1936 and 1937, respectively—. They are followed by the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks, tied with 6 each; the Pittsburgh Penguins with 5; the Rangers and Islanders, with 4 each; New Jersey Devils with 3; Colorado Avalanche, Los Angeles Kings, and Tampa Bay Lightning with 2; and with one Cup: the Anaheim Ducks, Carolina Hurricanes, Dallas Stars, Washington Capitals and St. Louis Blues.
However, taking into account that only the “championships won” factor cannot determine which team is the best. The reason is simple: year after year, rosters are updated, some coaches are replaced or resign, and there are injuries and sanctions, leading to different teams and their chemistry when playing. So, to properly talk about the best team in the NHL today —and in any discipline, for that matter— we must evaluate several key factors beyond their past victories.
For example, the Colorado Avalanche is considered the complete team in the NHL and the favorite to win the Stanley Cup 2022-23 —despite having only two championships—. The reasons? The effectiveness on the field is thanks to the excellent management of Jared Bednar and the performance of signings such as Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Nazem Kadri.
Here is a list of the best ice hockey teams in the USA (in order and according to the experts’ preference to win this Stanley Cup).
Led by their coach, Jared Bednar, they come from winning the Stanley Cup a few months ago against Tampa Bay and intend to repeat their feat to get their coveted tetrachampionship. Why are they the best on this list? Let’s see their recent statistics (season 2021-22):
If we add to this their 307 goals (3.76 per game and 36 of them scored by their star, Mikko Rantanen), they were in that season —and are in the current one— the terror of the contenders on the ice. They may need to strengthen their goaltending a bit, but otherwise, the Avalanche are currently the most solid team in the NHL.
The overall odds of +450 speak for themselves, with 450 points over the nearest American opponent —which we’ll talk about in a moment—. Their first game in the 2022-23 Stanley Cup will be against the Blackhawks. It will take place at home, at the imposing Ball Arena, Denver. The odds of 22Bet are not far from the experts’ voice: 1.67 in favor of Colorado against 4.98 for Chicago (a perfect opportunity for arbitrage betting, by the way).
Tampa Bay Lightning
The Lightning still has a sour aftertaste in their mouth after losing what could have been their tri-championship. At home, the Avalanche snatched the Stanley Cup from them. However, Jonathan D. Cooper’s team has not remained with its arms folded and comes with recharged batteries for this season 2022-23. They are second among the favorite American teams to win this championship, and their recent statistics speak for themselves:
Only 9 points behind the reigning champions, the Lightning are preparing to surpass themselves and regain the lost throne. They are also backed by their 285 goals last season (3.48 per game, including 42 from star player Steven Stamkos). The specialist portals point to odds of +900, placing them third among the overall favorites and second in the USA to win the Stanley Cup 2022-23.
Betway odds indicate a slight disadvantage (1.83-2.00 against) in their first meeting of the season, which will be on October 8 at Madison Square Garden, the Ranger’s home. The fact that they are visitors is their only problem. However, any result is possible, especially since Tampa Bay’s points over New York are slightly higher (7-6 in games and 37-36 in goals in the last 13 meetings, respectively).
Despite never winning a Stanley Cup, the Panthers have caused a stir in recent seasons with their performance on the ice. Paul Maurice was able to endow his players with his wisdom of years, which allowed for stellar statistics with the team last season, even above the reigning champions:
This was thanks in large part to the performance of Jonathan Huberdeau, who, with his 30 goals and 85 assists, was crucial in many of the victories. The Panthers managed a unique 4.11 goals per game, the best of this entire group so far. Why did they get left out with those stats? Unfortunately, Tampa Bay finished them off in the second round of the playoffs. However, they were a very dangerous contender that cannot be neglected.
Everything points to the Florida Panthers winning a Stanley Cup for the first time this season 2022-23 —when they celebrate 30 years since their founding—. Specialists rank them as the 3rd best U.S. team to win the championship at odds of +1000. The eyes of the fans are on their first game, on October 13, against the Islanders. Betway predicts a victory for Paul Maurice’s team —despite being visitors— at odds of 1.1 to 1.34.
Indeed —and the numbers don’t lie— the Panthers are among the best current teams in the NHL.
With 16 years without lifting a Stanley Cup, the Carolina Hurricanes have everything they need to take home the second championship in their history. Roderic Jean Brind’Amour’s dedicated leadership during the 2021-22 season allowed the team to boast second place in the Eastern Conference and championship stats:
Unfortunately, despite their tremendous performance, the Hurricanes crashed against a Rangers that did not let up until they eliminated them in 7 games in the playoffs. However, that result does not definitively mark what Carolina’s performance could be in this 2022-23 season. It is not for nothing that the specialists rank them 5th overall and fourth among American teams with odds of +1200 —only 200 points behind the Pänthers—.
Sebastian Aho, Andrei Svechnikov, and Teuvo Teravainen’s joint work are essential to achieving the objectives. These three athletes led the team to its 3.38 goals per game average last season and aimed to equal or better that mark this season.
If we only look at William Hill’s projections for the Hurricanes’ first game, it is easy to understand the team’s strength. They will face the Blue Jackets on October 12, with odds of 1.95 vs. 4.44 (perfect, by the way, for arbitrage betting). The PNC Arena awaits both teams for what the experts say through the numbers.
We are in the presence of the team that took second place in the Central Division in 2021-22, behind only the reigning champions, the Avalanche. Dean Clement Evason’s work was brilliant during the regular season. However, the setback experienced in the playoffs against the Blues —their elimination— truncated the road. Now, although this is another team that has never lifted a Stanley Cup in its 22-year history, their numbers show that they are not far from achieving it:
Key in this achievement were Kirill Kaprizov (47 G / 61 A / 108 P in 81 games), Kevin Fiala (33 G / 52 A / 85 P in 82 games) and Mats Zuccarello (24 G / 55 A / 79 P in 70 games). This trio contributed 33% of the total goals, which allowed a 3.77 goal average in the season. Undoubtedly, together they are a perfectly meshed scoring machine.
The experts place Minnesota at number 9 in the overall ranking and number 6 among the Americans with odds of +1800. Their first home game will be on October 13 vs. the Rangers. The Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, awaits these two titans for Bet365 odds: 1.21 (Wild) vs. 1.19 (New York). Expectations in favor of Minnesota are the best: the numbers say it all.
St. Louis Blues
To close, we have arguably the most solid of the top teams in the USA. And it is not absurd to think this. Although they have only one Stanley Cup in their 55-year history (recently won in 2019), the Blues have shown a considerable awakening in the last decade.
And yes: St. Louis has been in the top playoff spot for 9 of the last 10 years, along with the best teams. Those who prevented from winning last season were the Avalanche champions, who finished them off in the 6th game of the playoffs.
Now let’s take a look at the performance of this team
Numbers achieved by Craig Berube and his players this past 2021-22:
Vladimir Tarasenko (elite player), Pavel Buchnevich, and Robert Thomas —with 34, 30, and 20 goals, respectively— were the key players who secured their 3.77 goals per game. Lifting the Stanley Cup this 2022-23 season is highly possible if we appreciate the performance of this trio and the rest of the team in their final league games.
Next October 15, the Blues will host the Blue Jackets at home —the Enterprise Center— to show why the experts rank them 12th overall (9th among Americans), with odds of +2200. For its part, Bet365 favors St. Louis at 1.65 to Columbus’ 2.45.
The Blues are going all out, and this could be their second cup in 10 very intense attempts since 2011.