Beware of hot, cold starts

Can the Flyers turn it around? Will Marc-Andre Fleury's success continue?

Updated: October 9, 2013, 2:22 PM ET
By Neil Greenberg | ESPN Insider

Claude GirouxLen Redkoles/Getty ImagesPhiladelphia needs more production from Claude Giroux, who is scoreless through four games.

The Montreal Canadiens' line of Lars Eller, Brendan Gallagher and Alex Galchenyuk is on a 492-point pace as a trio, with the 24-year-old Eller earning the NHL's second star of the week for his three goals and two assists in Montreal's first two games. Gallagher has pitched in two goals, and Galchenyuk has been credited with four assists.

It is easy to look at those numbers and think that the EGG line will all set career marks in 2013-14, but it is doubtful Eller continues to convert on every third shot he puts on net.

Skeptical? Remember last season when Patrick Marleau paced the league with nine goals in the first five games only to end up with eight more over the remaining 43 contests?

At the opposite end of the spectrum, we have Vancouver's Chris Higgins, who has averaged four shots per game -- almost double his career average coming into the season -- and has yet to light the lamp. Expect Higgins to heat up just as the young stars of Montreal are cooling down.

Let's take a look at a few other performances around the league to see whether you should buy in or shouldn't get your hopes up, starting in Philadelphia.


To read Neil Greenberg's full story on which hot or cold starts will continue throughout the season, sign up for Insider today.

Neil Greenberg is ESPN Insider's NHL analytics expert. His columns have appeared on the Washington Post website, and he is a regular guest on Sirius XM NHL Radio.