The NHL lockout shows no sign of coming to an end anytime soon. The league's top stars are well aware and are therefore doing their best to make names for themselves overseas this fall. NHL labor talks will pick back up this week, according to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun, but expectations for a new deal remain low.
Expectations are always high for the NHL's top stars on the ice, however. And whether it's scoring a spectacular goal or making the perfect pass to set up a teammate, these studs are worthy of some recognition for their efforts.
Here, we highlight the top plays of the week from our locked-out NHL superstars.
Former Washington Capital Alexander Semin, who has since signed with the Carolina Hurricanes, was the star of a unique play for Torpedo against CSKA Moscow on Friday, getting credit for the assist instead of a goal after the puck struck teammate Mikhail Varnakov.
It's hard to say whether Semin is the one that scored, but clearly Varnakov had no intention of putting the puck in the net. Regardless, this play was entertaining and kicks off our countdown at No. 5.
Pavel Datsyuk has been a special player for years now, and it's passes like this one against Lokomotiv on Sunday that set him apart from most other players on the planet.
The Detroit Red Wings center has 17 assists in 18 appearances for KHL club CSKA Moscow this season, and is poised to add to that count as the NHL lockout drags on. Datsyuk is just one of a handful of Red Wings players showcasing their talents overseas this fall, but one of only a few who are being noticed.
Detroit Red Wings teammates Damien Brunner and Henrik Zetterberg both came up huge for EV Zug in its shootout win over the Rapperswil-Jona Lakers on Saturday.
Brunner scored the first goal of the shootout and Zetterberg followed it up with another brilliant finish.
The No. 3 play of the week is no doubt a team effort.
Washington Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin proved to be clutch for KHL club Dynamo Moscow on Sunday, scoring the game-winning goal in overtime to knock off Dinamo Minsk.
The goal was Ovie's seventh for the club this season. He has 17 points, including 10 assists in 17 KHL appearances in 2012-13. With a scoring punch like his, though, who needs assists?
Reigning NHL MVP Evgeni Malkin showed why he won Hart Memorial Trophy honors playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins last season with this incredible display of athleticism and talent.
Malkin, who plays for KHL club Metallurg, made the most of a steal against Barys, somehow scoring from his knees with defenders draped all over his back. Malkin is third in the KHL this season in most points scored despite having only played in 21 games.
For this effort, though, he earns top play of the week honors.
Damien Brunner and Linus Omark continue to light it up for EV Zug in the Switzerland's National League A this fall, while Evgeni Malkin and Ilya Kovalchuk make their presences felt in the KHL.
Malkin has 31 points in just 21 games this season, but hasn't come close to Tyler Seguin in terms of goals scored. The Boston Bruins center has 16 goals in just 17 appearances for EHC Biel in 2012-13.
Here we present the NHL leaders overseas as of mid-November.
*Statistics include NHL players who are playing in the KHL or Switzerland's National League A.
Top Five Point Leaders
|Player||Points||Current Club||NHL Club|
|Damien Brunner||34||EV Zug||Detroit Red Wings|
|Linus Omark||32||EV Zug||Edmonton Oilers|
|Evgeni Malkin||31||Metallurg||Pittsburgh Penguins|
|Ilya Kovalchuk||28||SKA St. Petersburg||New Jersey Devils|
|Tyler Seguin||28||EHC Biel||Boston Bruins|
Top Five Goal Leaders
|Player||Goals||Current Club||NHL Club|
|Tyler Seguin||16||EHC Biel||Boston Bruins|
|Damien Brunner||12||EV Zug||Detroit Red Wings|
|Vladimir Tarasenko||10||SKA St. Petersburg||St. Louis Blues|
|Ilya Kovalchuk||10||SKA St. Petersburg||New Jersey Devils|
|Evgeni Malkin||10||Metallurg||Pittsburgh Penguins|
Top Five Assist Leaders
|Player||Assists||Current Club||NHL Club|
|Linus Omark||23||EV Zug||Edmonton Oilers|
|Damien Brunner||22||EV Zug||Detroit Red Wings|
|Evgeni Malkin||21||Metallurg||Pittsburgh Penguins|
|Ilya Kovalchuk||18||SKA St. Petersburg||New Jersey Devils|
|Pavel Datsyuk||17||CSKA Moscow||Detroit Red Wings|
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