NHL: Ryan O'Reilly and 6 Hot Starts in 2011 Destined for Flame-Outs
The starts of the season are some of the most deceptive things in all of professional sports.
Players can get off to a scorching hot start but then fizzle out down the stretch. The same thing happens quite frequently with teams.
They are some of the most tragic things in sports, to watch a player or team start so fast but see it mean nothing in the long run.
Here are some of the fastest starters this year that won't mean too much by the end of the season.
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Michalek has gotten off to a great individual start and is currently tied for second in the NHL with 12 goals scored.
It's really hard for anybody that plays with the Ottawa Senators right now to expect too much consistency because the team as a whole is just not that good.
Michalek may continue to score like he has been, but in the end he will probably flame out, just like Ottawa's season.
The Toronto Maple Leafs
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The Toronto Maple Leafs have had serious trouble with being able to keep things together long enough in the regular season to get into the playoffs.
They came ever so close last season, but fell just short.
This season Toronto is off to a very hot start that sees them sitting atop the Northeast Division, but not by much.
Phil Kessel's great start has given people in Toronto a lot of reason to hope, but injuries to starting goalie James Reimer has people in Toronto a bit itchy.
I love the Leafs, I do, but until they can prove that they are a team that can keep the pedal down and clinch a playoff spot, they will continue to be on lists like this.
Toronto has already started to come down to earth a bit in the month of November, and sits at about .500 for the month.
I hope they prove me wrong.
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After a ridiculously hot start for the Dallas Stars that benefited several people's fantasy hockey teams (myself included), Kari Lehtonen has become a bit leaky in net.
Lehtonen had done a good job battling through some shaky play and gotten a lot of help from his offense, but he has now lost three of his last four games.
Lehtonen really needs his team to be more consistent in front of him this year if the Stars are going to make the playoffs, but I just don't see it happening.
Dallas will fall apart more as the season goes along, and Lehtonen's fast start will fizzle out into the night.
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Theodore has been a great surprise for the Panthers at the start of this season, going 8-4-2 with a 2.50 goals against average after being a backup in Minnesota.
I haven't got a lot of faith in Jose Theodore to keep up his play for the course of a whole season based off of my experiences with him in Colorado.
Theodore was never able to separate himself from Peter Budaj as the clear-cut starter in Colorado, and I don't believe that he'll do it with Scott Clemensen either.
Jose Theodore will be back to his role as a backup before too long.
The Minnesota Wild
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The Minnesota Wild are a good team—a lot better than people give them credit for.
Minnesota currently sits atop the Northwest Division, but I wouldn't count on them staying there for an extended amount of time.
They have a very solid group of players that is learning to play well, but are still very new to each other and to their coach.
The big test for this team will come when they hit a rough patch in the season and lose a few games in a row.
Sometimes that type of sudden struggling can have a negative impact on a team with a brand new coach because players may start to question the system.
If this happens, Minnesota may find themselves tumbling in the standings more than they would like.
At the same time, they may find that the rough patch brings them together as a team and they can find a way to push through it and be stronger than ever.
It will be interesting to see which way the Wild go, because every team hits a rough patch through the course of the season.
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I hate to put O'Reilly on this list but I definitely feel like he will fizzle out.
Not because he's going to remember who he is or anything like that; Ryan O'Reilly has been one of the best players on the Avalanche since the start of the season and is second on the team in assists right now with 10.
What I think is going to cause O'Reilly to fizzle is Joe Sacco.
Up until about a couple of games ago, O'Reilly was playing on a line with Daniel Winnik and Gabriel Landeskog, and this line was dominant.
They were scoring and creating great shifts that yielded great scoring chances and energy for their team. In fact, this line was the best and most consistent line that the Avalanche had all season.
It has now been split up.
O'Reilly will likely fizzle a bit in his numbers because Joe Sacco panics too quickly and will continue to juggle lines all over the place, even when things are working, and the chemistry will go completely away from this team.
O'Reilly will always work hard and be impressive on the ice, but his numbers will cool off if Sacco remains coach of this team.
Kevin Goff is a Featured Columnist for the Colorado Avalanche and NHL on Bleacher Report. For more NHL news and discussion,