There's nothing like getting off to a sharp start to let a player know that this is going to be his year in the NHL.
However, it doesn't always go according to plan. Teams can get off to disappointing starts and players can also follow suit. It doesn't mean that a slump is going to last for a full season and the player has lost his skills, but a bad start can result in self-doubt and cause others to lose confidence as well.
A bad start often means more than a slump in the middle of the season. Instead of being up among the league's leaders, a star player can find his name listed with the also-rans.
It takes mental and emotional strength to overcome a poor start. Here's a look at several players whose stocks have hit a severe downturn early in the season.