It's hard to believe, but the New Jersey Devils are already a quarter of the way through the lockout-shortened 48-game schedule.
The team has gotten off to a blazing start—the best in franchise history—riding a record of 8-1-3 to the top of the Eastern Conference. They are undefeated at home (5-0-1) and have won their last five games. For fans, it's hard to complain.
Though it's only been a dozen games, players have already had ample time to show what they plan to do this season. More than a couple of Devils have emerged as exciting surprises, some have maintained the high level of play expected of them and a few have disappointed and fizzled out.
Every player has done something—good or bad, and this is a report card for the first quarter of the 2013 season.
One important reminder first: these grades are based on each player's performance this season as compared to reasonable expectations for that player. If a rookie and Ilya Kovalchuk put up the same numbers, the rookie's going to get a significantly higher grade than the 50-goal scorer.