Hot Starts at the 2014 Olympic Hockey Tournament That Will Continue

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Hot Starts at the 2014 Olympic Hockey Tournament That Will Continue
Petr David Josek/Associated Press

Jonas Hiller has yet to allow a single puck past Switzerland's goal line, while Sweden's star defenseman Erik Karlsson is leading the tournament with three goals and five points. Which other players are off to hot starts in Sochi, and can we expect them to continue?

There are two elements at play in this analysis, which players are having a hot start, and which have the right combination of talent and playing conditions for their success to continue.

To evaluate the first part, we've examined what players have produced both offensively and defensively, while considering their opponents and their playing conditions.

The analytics are unfortunately limited to basic statistics like goals, assists, shots and plus/minus, and the sample sizes are obviously quite small (through Saturday's games), but it's nevertheless enough to determine who is having the most success.

The second part is a little trickier, and it involves digging into players' past success while looking at factors such as their age, their linemates, their playing conditions, the overall team, not to mention their ice time. 

In the end we've identified 10 players who have the right combination of both a hot start and the factors that indicate a high likelihood of continued success.

Who are the 10 key players to watch as the elimination games begin? Let's begin with some honorable mentions.


All current Olympic statistics are from Extra Skater, and advanced NHL statistics are via writer's own original research unless otherwise noted.

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