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Top Plays of the Week by Locked-Out NHL Superstars

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IJune 26, 2016

Top Plays of the Week by Locked-Out NHL Superstars

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    The NHL lockout drags on, and millions of depressed North American hockey fans are still struggling to come to grips with the fact that their precious stars are showcasing their talents for a new set of fans all across the world.

    This madness has to end sometime, doesn't it? 

    One can only hope so. But until the players and owners of the NHL reach an agreement on a new CBA, we're stuck waiting and wishing.

    Perhaps feasting your eyes on a few of the past week's hockey gems will bring some relief.

    Here we highlight the top plays of the week from our locked-out NHL superstars.

5. Datsyuk Scores on the Power Play

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    Pavel Datsyuk put CSKA Moscow up early last Monday against SKA St. Petersburg when he scored on this excellent power-play goal.

    The Detroit Red Wings star was at the right place at the right time and maintained his concentration to beat the goalie from right in front of the net.

    You have to feel for Detroit fans, as Datsyuk is one of nine Red Wings players who have signed overseas this fall.

4. Chara Muscles in His First Goal

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    Zdeno Chara is not a small man by any means. At 6'9", the Lev defenseman can skate wherever he pleases without much resistance.

    On Saturday, the Boston Bruins bruiser muscled in his first goal of the season for KHL club Lev. Unfortunately, Chara's effort would be in vain, as Lev fell to Ak Bars 4-2 in the end.

    Chara is renowned for having one of the world's hardest slap shots, but this gem was pure strength and effort.

3. Bergeron Hammers It Home

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    Of course there is hockey being played outside of the KHL as well. HC Lugano's Patrice Bergeron, better known as a center for the Boston Bruins, scored in Switzerland's National League A last week.

    Bergeron has played his entire NHL career with the Bruins and has become one of the fan favorites in Beantown.

    His ability to score athletic goals like this one is a big reason why.

2. Gonchar Strikes with a Sick Wrist Shot

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    Ottawa Senators veteran defenseman Sergei Gonchar displayed some of his offensive skill for KHL club Metallurg in its 3-0 win over Amur last week.

    Gonchar lost the puck on a power play and gave up a scoring opportunity for Amur, but he bounced back beautifully with an awesome shot to put Metallurg up 1-0.

    Gonchar has scored 214 goals in 17 NHL seasons, so the accuracy on this wrist shot shouldn't come as a surprise.

1. Kovalchuk Nets a Hat Trick

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    New Jersey Devils superstar Ilya Kovalchuk pulled off the week's most dominant performance last Monday against CSKA Moscow.

    The SKA St. Petersburg newcomer scored not once, not twice, but three times to lift his KHL club over CSKA 4-2. A postseason hero for the Devils last spring, Kovalchuk is among the elite talents in the sport.

    The left winger scored 37 times last season in the NHL and finished with 83 points for the Devils. Kovalchuk takes home top-play honors this week for his brilliant hat trick.

Locked out NHL Leaders Overseas

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    Fresh off a hat trick, New Jersey Devils winger Ilya Kovalchuk is among the NHL leaders overseas in points, goals and assists this fall. Kovalchuk, who helped the Devils reach the Stanley Cup Finals last summer, is an assist machine for KHL club SKA St. Petersburg

    But Kovalchuk has competition. Detroit Red Wings star Damien Brunner has been lighting up the scoreboard for Switzerland's EV Zug, he has an incredible 17 points this season and is leading in every major category among locked out NHL stars across the KHL and Switzerland's famous National Leagues.

     

    *Statistics include NHL players who are playing in the KHL or Switzerland's National Leagues.

     

    Top 5 Points Leaders

    Player Points Current Club NHL Club
    Damien Brunner 17 EV Zug Detroit Red Wings
    Ilya Kovalchuk 15 SKA St. Petersburg New Jersey Devils
    Raphael Diaz 13 EV Zug Montreal Canadiens
    Vladimir Tarasenko 11 SKA St. Petersburg St. Louis Blues
    Brooks Laich 11 Kloten Washington Capitals

     

    Top 5 Goal Leaders 

    Player Goals Current Club NHL Club
    Damien Brunner 7 EV Zug Detroit Red Wings
    Rick Nash 6 HC Davos New York Rangers
    Vladimir Tarasenko 6 SKA St. Petersburg St. Louis Blues
    Ilya Kovalchuk 5 SKA St. Petersburg New Jersey Devils
    Brooks Laich 5 Kloten Washington Capitals

     

    Top 5 Assist Leaders

    Player Assists Current Club NHL Club
    Damien Brunner 10 EV Zug Detroit Red Wings
    Ilya Kovalchuk 10 HC Davos New York Rangers
    Raphael Diaz 10 SKA St. Petersburg St. Louis Blues
    Pavel Datsyuk 7 SKA St. Petersburg New Jersey Devils
    Sergei Gonchar 7 Metallurg Ottawa Senators

     

    Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.

    Follow _Pat_Clarke on Twitter

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