Top Plays of the Week by Locked-Out NHL Superstars
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
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
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
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
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
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
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
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|
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