Lessons of the Colorado Avalanche

Leafs have looked strong off the first puck drop -- but what will that mean come April? Getty Images

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.