By the conclusion of this past Friday night’s action, all NHL teams had completed the first 12 of their 48 games in the shortened 2012-13 season.
It is now safe to assert that the season is taking shape for the better part of the league’s players and teams. Even so, there are still 30-plus games left for everyone to play, leaving ample time for sizzling starts to cool off and for those who have surprisingly stumbled to restore their elite persona.
The cautionary aspect of this stage of the season applies to each of the early front-running candidates for a spot on one of the two annual All-Star teams that will be introduced at this summer’s awards show. Any one of them could be dislodged if they do not sustain enough of their current pace.
For now, though, here are the league’s top two performers in each starting position as of mid-February. All stats used as part of these evaluations were found via nhl.com and are based on games through no later than Feb. 15, when every team had reached or surpassed the quarter mark.