Top Plays of the Week by Locked-Out NHL Superstars
With the NHL lockout still ongoing, the league's top stars are content to showcase their skills overseas and in packed arenas around the world.
At this point, North American hockey fans are dying for some hockey. Whether they're streaming KHL games live on their smartphones or reliving last spring's unforgettable postseason on YouTube, NHL fans are in desperate search of America's forgotten sport.
Fear not, because we have you covered.
Here we highlight the top plays of the week from our locked-out NHL superstars.
5. Ovie Shatters the Glass
Alex Ovechkin did what he does best in the KHL this past week, crushing an opponent into the boards. Only this time, Ovie did more damage to the glass than his target.
The Dynamo Moscow winger can score with the best of them, but when he's not doing that, he's usually harnessing his inner middle linebacker in pursuit of the puck.
The crowd's reaction says it all.
4. Tavares Wins It in the Shootout
John Tavares led Bern past SCL this past week with a clutch shootout goal. The New York Islanders center recorded 81 points last season in the NHL and has nine already in just seven games in Switzerland's National League A.
The 22-year-old is the future of Islanders hockey and will be even better by the time the NHL returns.
His heroics for Bern were good enough for No. 4 on our countdown of the top plays of the week.
3. Kovalchuk Sneaks It Past the Goalie
Points are coming easy for Ilya Kovalchuk overseas this October. The New Jersey Devils winger has been finding teammates and netting goals left and right for SKA St. Petersburg in the KHL.
Stellar goals like this one against Siberia are what make Kovalchuk such a special player.
Just last summer, he was leading the Devils to the Stanley Cup Final. Sigh.
2. Ovechkin Strikes Like Lightning
Washington Capitals fans are no doubt tearing up after watching this amazing goal from Alex Ovechkin. The Russian star struck like lightning for KHL club Dynamo Moscow right off the faceoff.
Although Ovie's short hair and No. 32 are new sights for NHL fans, his unique goal-scoring ability is as noticeable as ever.
I'm sure we'll see plenty of Ovechkin in next week's top plays too.
1. Datsyuk Works His Magic
Detroit Red Wings stud Pavel Datsyuk is tearing up the KHL this fall and earned the No. 1 spot in our week's top plays with this gem against Lev.
Datsyuk, who plays for CSKA Moscow in the KHL, is playing phenomenal hockey, scoring and assisting at a tremendous rate. After this exhibition of all-natural talent, it's no surprise why.
Datsyuk's remarkable individual effort was more than enough for him to take home top play of the week honors.
Locked-Out NHL Leaders Overseas
Detroit Red Wings fans are loving what center Damien Brunner is doing overseas this fall. The Swiss star is torching Switzerland's National League A, having scored seven goals and tallied 15 assists already this October.
NHL veteran Ilya Kovalchuk is hot on his heels, however, having recorded 18 points in just 10 games with KHL club SKA St. Petersburg.
*Statistics include NHL players who are playing in the KHL or Switzerland's National League A.
Top Five Points Leaders
|Player||Points||Current Club||NHL Club|
|Damien Brunner||22||EV Zug||Detroit Red Wings|
|Ilya Kovalchuk||18||SKA St. Petersburg||New Jersey Devils|
|Raphael Diaz||14||EV Zug||Montreal Canadiens|
|Evgeni Malkin||13||Metallurg||Pittsburgh Penguins|
|Brooks Laich||12||Kloten||Washington Capitals|
Top Five Goal Leaders
|Player||Goals||Current Club||NHL Club|
|Damien Brunner||7||EV Zug||Detroit Red Wings|
|Rick Nash||7||HC Davos||New York Rangers|
|Vladimir Tarasenko||6||SKA St. Petersburg||St. Louis Blues|
|Ilya Kovalchuk||6||SKA St. Petersburg||New Jersey Devils|
|Brooks Laich||5||Kloten||Washington Capitals|
Top Five Assist Leaders
|Player||Assists||Current Club||NHL Club|
|Damien Brunner||15||EV Zug||Detroit Red Wings|
|Ilya Kovalchuk||12||SKA St. Petersburg||New Jersey Devils|
|Raphael Diaz||11||EV Zug||Montreal Canadiens|
|Evgeni Malkin||9||Metallurg||Pittsburgh Penguins|
|Joe Thornton||9||HC Davos||San Jose Sharks|
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