Two weeks into the regular season, I think it’s fair to assume no one expected the Colorado Avalanche, Buffalo Sabres and Edmonton Oilers to be leading the rest of the National Hockey League field.
We tend to see early-season runs each year from a team or two – last year, the Sabres led the entire NHL through American Thanksgiving, then followed that up by being the worst team in the league through game 82 of the season. So yes, some of these runs can be fleeting.
What’s particularly interesting is how many of the teams that we expected to be on the fringe of the playoff cut line (or, worse) are currently sitting atop the standings. We don’t want to make sharp judgments based on eight or so games of data, but these teams have already bagged a serious number of points to put daylight between themselves and the competition in the standings. Even if you are bearish on these clubs, the reality is their playoff probabilities have increased in a matter of weeks.