Over the past two seasons, 11 different teams have secured one of the eight playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. That's 16 total playoff spots available. Know how many of those teams had losing records in October?
Three...three of sixteen.*
A slow start won't kill you, but it can wound you pretty badly.
* Ottawa, New York Rangers, and Tampa Bay; all last year, and all started 5-6-0 in October, so it wasn't that big a hole out of which to climb.