The 2012 NHL lockout has gone from depressing to agonizing, and there looks to be a strong likelihood that hockey fans will miss out on an entire season of action.
With regular-season games canceled through Jan. 14 and the NHL Players' Association voting to allow the executive board to disband the union whenever it chooses to do so, things on the lockout front look bleak.
The only good news is that many of our favorite NHL stars are still putting their talents on display overseas.
Let us offer up some holiday cheer with these top plays from our locked-out NHL superstars.
Although it came in a losing effort against Sibir, this awesome wrister from Alexander Ovechkin for Dynamo Moscow has to make its way onto our countdown of the top plays of the week.
Sure, he makes it look easy, but there's nothing simple about shooting the puck past the goalie from that angle. Something tells me we haven't seen the last of Ovi in these top plays picks.
Boston Bruins fans surely have to miss watching Tyler Seguin bring the puck up the ice.
The 20-year-old is lighting it up for EHC Biel in Switzerland this season, and plays like this one against SC Bern show just how endless Seguin's potential really is.
This goal has it all: the balance, the well-timed deke and the perfect finish.
It's no secret that Ovechkin is a rare specimen out on the ice, or that his knack for scoring goals is unrivaled. Here, Ovi scores after a sensational individual effort against Metallurg Novokuznetsk.
The goal put Dynamo Moscow ahead comfortably, and they went on to win the game.
Pavel Datsyuk showed up in a big way for the Russian All-Star team in a Euro Hockey Tour matchup against the Czech Republic on Dec. 15, scoring three goals and even adding an assist to come away with four of the squad's points in a 6-0 victory.
There's no doubt Datsyuk can light up the scoreboard from time to time, but the star center is probably best known for his unselfishness and ability to set up others.
Anything Pavel Datsyuk can do, Evgeni Malkin can do better, apparently.
The reigning NHL MVP went off in Metallurg Magnitogorsk's win over Atlant on Dec. 19, netting three goals and assisting on another to rack up four points in total.
Malkin may be playing overseas, but he's right at home in the KHL. This gem of a highlight is more than deserving of being our top play of the week.
The reigning Hart Memorial Trophy winner is setting the KHL on fire this season. Pittsburgh Penguins star Evgeni Malkin has nearly 50 points in just over 30 games played with Metallurg Magnitogorsk.
In Switzerland, Tyler Seguin has continued his tear. He has netted 25 goals already for EHC Biel and shows no signs of slowing as the new year approaches.
Below, you can see the Top Five leaders in all three major statistical categories overseas this season.
*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||53||EV Zug||Detroit Red Wings|
|Evgeni Malkin||49||Metallurg Mag.||Pittsburgh Penguins|
|Linus Omark||45||EV Zug||Edmonton Oilers|
|Tyler Seguin||40||EHC Biel||Boston Bruins|
|John Tavares||39||SC Bern||New York Islanders|
Top Five Goal Leaders
|Player||Goals||Current Club||NHL Club|
|Tyler Seguin||25||EHC Biel||Boston Bruins|
|Damien Brunner||24||EV Zug||Detroit Red Wings|
|Evgeni Malkin||17||Metallurg Mag.||Pittsburgh Penguins|
|John Tavares||16||SC Bern||New York Islanders|
|Alex Ovechkin||16||Dynamo Moscow||Washington Capitals|
Top Five Assist Leaders
|Player||Assists||Current Club||NHL Club|
|Linus Omark||32||EV Zug||Edmonton Oilers|
|Evgeni Malkin||32||Metallurg||Pittsburgh Penguins|
|Damien Brunner||29||EV Zug||Detroit Red Wings|
|Pavel Datsyuk||23||CSKA Moscow||Detroit Red Wings|
|John Tavares||23||SC Bern||New York Islanders|
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