Who those who have been sore at the NHL and the players union during the 100-plus day lockout, NHL '13 developer Electronic Arts has kept their own simulation of the season on their site.
The results have been interesting.
Through 41 games, Alexander Ovechkin leads the league in scoring with 34 goals and 56 points. His teammate, Nick Backstrom is second with 52 points, while Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks rounds out the top three with 48 points and 33 assists. After the Capitals lackluster season in '12, it's interesting that Ovechkin and Backstrom have fared so well offensively in the simulation.
The goaltending numbers is where things get really spicy though. New York Islanders goaltender Evgeni Nabokov is second in GAA (1.87) and first in SV% (.941) and Shutouts (9). Despite his lackluster performance in the playoffs last season, Vancouver's Roberto Luongo leads the league with 1.64 GAA. He's also second in SV% with a stellar .940. The Sharks' Anti Niemi leads all netminders with 24 wins.
As far as teams go, The Islanders are also surprising. They currently lead the Atlantic Division and are third in the Eastern Conference with a 19-13-6 record. The Minnesota Wild made a big splash with free agent signings of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter haven't paid off yet. Through 40 games, the team has just 16 wins.
Could this be a sign of things to come this season? Or just a figment of Electronic Arts' gaming imagination?