Lessons of the Colorado Avalanche

Does a hot start, like the Avs last season, ultimately mean much?

Originally Published: October 19, 2010
By Corey Pronman | Puck Prospectus
Getty ImagesLeafs have looked strong off the first puck drop -- but what will that mean come April?

In all sports, teams want to start a season hot. It's simple logic. If you're hot while others falter, you might be able to establish an insurmountable lead by the midpoint of a season, which affords you flexibility headed towards the postseason.

Last season, the Colorado Avalanche used their blistering start to set the tone for a surprising playoff year. Just a few weeks into this season, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Dallas Stars have blitzed to 4-0-1 and 4-1-0 respective records out of the starting gates. Is it time to start thinking playoffs in Toronto and Dallas? Our study says fans should rein in those expectations for now.

Corey Pronman is ESPN's NHL Draft and Prospects analyst. He provides analysis on the top draft-eligible players, prospects drafted by NHL teams and all other relevant prospect information. He lives in New York.