Mailbag: Is Colorado's hot start for real?

Updated: October 21, 2011, 1:42 PM ET
By Craig Custance

A loaded Thursday schedule gave us some great games, including a Capitals win over the Flyers and a strong performance by Marc-Andre Fleury that helped the depleted Penguins beat the Canadiens. The weekend slate of games is just as entertaining, with these three emerging as can't-miss games:

San Jose Sharks at Boston Bruins (7 p.m. Saturday) -- The Sharks have lost three consecutive games since opening the season with a win and desperately need a turnaround on their current road trip.

Detroit Red Wings at Washington Capitals (7 p.m. Saturday) -- A Stanley Cup preview? The way these two teams are playing right now, it's quite possible.

Colorado Avalanche at Chicago Blackhawks (8:30 p.m. Saturday) -- Chicago won a close one between these two teams last night, and Colorado doesn't have to wait long for the rematch.

Now, on to the weekly mailbag. As always, thanks for the great questions:

Is this hot start by the Avalanche like the one they had last season, or can they maintain this level of play 'til April? -- Cealy, Denver

How are you reacting to the hot start by the Colorado Avalanche, and how have your predictions changed (if at all)? -- Ryan, @AvsGuildRyan

Two Avalanche questions right off the top. My reaction to Colorado's hot start is much less important that the team's, and I like the perspective they have right now, led by general manager Greg Sherman. With last night's loss to Chicago, Colorado sits at 5-2, which is good enough for first place in the Northwest. This is a group that knows that a strong October doesn't guarantee anything.