Much has been made of how important a hot start is for teams in a 48-game season.
That's quite obvious. With a limited number of games, you are going to hurt your chances of having a good regular season and perhaps of even making the playoffs if you get off to a slow start.
It's certainly not impossible. During the 1994-95 48-game regular season, the New Jersey Devils got out of the gate with an 0-3-1 record. They straightened themselves out and finished fifth in the regular season.
They caught their stride in the playoffs and won the Stanley Cup.
So you don't have to come roaring out of the gate. However, that's still the best way to go about your business in a shortened season—or a long one for that matter.
Here's a look at five teams that will ride their hot starts to playoff success.
(Note: Don't look for the New Jersey Devils this time around. Despite the expertise of Lou Lamoriello, we're not convinced that the Devils have enough talent to sustain a sharp start.)