Temporary Insanity Or Evil Genius? Anze Kopitar Goes Left.





The words “Kopitar left” swim in my occupied mind. They have done the breast stroke for the past week.

On defense, he is big and has a nice reach. Anze can occupy and take away lanes, keep the puck from the defensemen and intercept passes. That is primarily what a wing does in the defensive zone.

On the breakouts (depending on whether the L.A. Kings are actually interested in “breaking” out versus trotting or moseying out), Kopitar can take the pass from the D1 on the left side and along the boards in the neutral zone. Kopitar can back off the opposing defensemen by his size and speed (what you sometimes hear referred to as “boxing out” a defenseman) and force a larger gap between he and the defense. His strength and puck handling skills will allow him to receive the puck and skate with it in stride (head up) regardless of whether he is taking a direct pass, a rimmed puck or in a (I wish) blue line to blue line situation.

Anze would be placed in a position to be a more aggressive puck carrier and have the first choice to take it to the net or shoot or, second, find his center or right wing for a pass. He becomes less of a play maker and more of a shooter and, therefore, goal scorer. With Mike Richards as his play making center and another big, fast sniper on his right in Jeff Carter, my day and evening dreams of those three on the same line bring me images of puck snapping back white twine, 5 on 5 and on the powerplay.

You are dying to comment. I can tell. Go nuts.

Categories: L.A. Kings News

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73 replies

  1. … You’re just dying to get Brown off of that top line, aren’t you?

  2. Yeah my first thought.. Move Brownie.. BS.. but our Captain will take the second line just fine.. Stollie is back to being Stollie.. and Willie and Brownie are good together so fine.. as for Kopi.. maybe this can help him get back to playing forward and finding that ellusive net and not having to be the F3( is that correct) who hangs back to help the D.. He is great at that, but then he spends alot of his time so far back he only gets a couple of up and down the ice tries per shift..and if we give up the puck there goes his shift.. so let’s be positive and say
    GO KINGS GO!!!
    ducks SUCK!

  3. Where does King figure in all this shuffling? Watch from the press-box? Don’t think he can go back to Manchester.

    • We can carry more than 23 now so long as we are below the cap. And why can’t he go back to Manchester?

      • I was under the impression that after the trade deadline the players on the roster must stay on the roster until the end of the season. At least that’s what Hammond said in this post:


        “A couple deadline-related notes. As of right now, per league rules, all players on the Kings’ roster must stay on the roster until the end of the season. That’s good news for young players such as Slava Voynov, Dwight King and Jordan Nolan. Also, from now until the end of the season, teams are allowed to call up four players, who can move back and forth between the NHL and AHL. Teams are also now allowed to go over the 23-man roster limit, as long as they remain under the salary cap”

        So if that is true King would not be able to be sent back down to Manchester.

  4. Insanity.

    I would wait for a larger sample of results following the Carter trade. We’ve been scoring a little bit of late. Taking our hottest player and breaking up the whole line and sticking him with Stoll seems crazy. The first line is working and the second is getting their chances. Carter is effectively giving players more space. I would stick with it a while longer.

  5. I’ve actually entertained the same train of thought for quite some time. My only reservation, which has gotten the better of me, is going back to a prodominant single scoring line. I would actually like to see something like this:

    Kopitar – Richards – Carter
    Penner – Stoll – Brown
    King – Loktionov – Nolan
    Clifford – Fraser – Lewis

    Maybe we try it at home so we can get the better of the match ups, but with the majority of the remaining games on the road, I’m still a little hesitant.

    Call me crazy

  6. I’d sure like to test it, but…

    1. I don’t have that much faith in Kopi’s shooting abilities.
    2. That’s super vulnerable to a shutdown line.

  7. Tried Lewis on wing. Nope.
    Tried Richardson on wing. Nope
    Tried Loktionov on wing. Nope.
    Tried Stoll on wing. Nope.
    Tried Richards on wing. Nope.
    Trying Carter on wing. Not yet, but only a few games with a new team…

    Trying Kopi on wing could only make sense if it was to put Carter at Center. And then, it doesn’t make sense anyway.

    I therefore expect to see Kopi at wing, Lewis will continue to get PP time, and Bernier will be made to sit in a back to back when he is 5-1 or something like that over the last six against the back-end opponent he misses. You know, coaching.

    • Ich mein oftah bahc iskq wink in dein osterfor.
      Parceqa wak iska link to dein excellence en das hockey geyme.

      Listen ork daske lein.

      No idea what I just said, but sounds as good to me as anything else. Hey, why not?
      Does DL not way in on this a bit, because he liken das center guyze who line up in da mittle of da ice? So las vingers are not abundant on the team? Ya?

  8. Im all for trying Kopi on left wing. I think Richards is a better passer/playmaker
    and I would love to see Kopi freed up to just think about scoring.

    Also notice what Kopi had to do with his stick to get that puck in the net in the Wild game. It was 2 moves since we was on the right side. If hes making that play on the left side its a direct shot off the pass. He should definitely play left wing.

  9. WHatever the lineups the Kings better be damn ready for Anaheim after tonight. Turned the game on with 2:30 left only to see Perry make a great play up ice and drop a perfect pass to a waiting Getzlaf who shot a lazer. They’re coming in hot and confident after tonight. Kings really better be ready. Anaheim is gonna be gunnin.

    Side note…..Giordano makes a great play to stop an empty netter at the goal line with 8 seconds left only to fire a last ditch shot from his own end and hit Cammalleri. Couldn’t tell where he got hit but he went down in a heap.

  10. I am all for changes, but, with 18 games left, and now only out of a playoff seed by a minimal number of points, Sutter is not going to do much change at this point. Maybe later in crunch time and they are in desperate straits.

    Sutter instead seems more likely to tell the troops that it is merely executing good hockey offensive skills to pressure and create turnovers and receive penalties.

    We can all see that Kopi passes off 90% of the time when he carries the puck into the O zone on rushes, as he is being checked. Or he enters and pulls up and does a pass. Or he crashes along the boards trying to break through and then moves the puck around the back of the net, or chase after the puck himself if he breaks through. What we don’t see is much give and go stuff, or drop back passes, or old time traditional cycling in the corners.

    We see Kopi often pass off when he gets the puck sent back to him when he is along the side boards, where he does not take any shot even when there is shot lane open to the net. Often I see that he does not take shots in open lanes as he does not see a teammate around the crease area to pick up any rebound.

    So I can see his predicament on taking shots himself when he thinks there is no rebound or deflection chance. To me that is a crucial problem that Murray and Sutter have not solved, where due to Kopi’s size and locations, he is not taking shots out of lack of seeing something good happening with no King around the net.

    I pointed this out before, is that there is a systematic perimeter problem that the players have created, where shots from the perimeter are not going to score, as nobody rotated quick enough, with muscle, to set up a position around the goalie. If they are going to play perimeter all the time, they got to find a way to spring somebody into the sweet spots to pick up a rebound shot or a deflection or even a pass with a stuff jam into the net.

    Granted, players for the whole game that move into the close in net area are going to be pounded and they are going to feel some pain and jabs and whatnot.
    Brown can handle it, Williams cannot, and Penner for sure has been avoiding the hard areas to play in out of not wanting to be a punching bag and accept some pain or even injuries. He has gotten super soft for a big guy.

    DL assembled this crew, and when you break it down, there is a chemistry issue on role playing, where not all the players got the correct role figured out that really needs to be established for the good of the team and goals.

    So, if Kopi will not change and he just has to play his kind of game, then, the others that will play with him will have to find the correct role for the good of the team. That is one issue, which I figure Murray and Sutter have been exasperated
    on how do you make other players adjuster to Kopi’s style, if Kopi will not change.

    It should be pointed out that Kopi did not make the All-Star team because this is the key problem, in how can other players make it work with him, where he takes the shots and gets his goals and assists. That is the struggle and dilemma that has not been figured out.

    The idea to put Kopi in as a wing with Richards and Carter means that Kopi is being forced to change his established game that he came to the Kings with. That is a tough task to get him to change, even if it is decided to coax him to do that. It would be a test tube experiment, and I don’t have a lot of faith it woud work.

    My point therefore is Kopi is Kopi, and whoever is assigned to play with him have to better adapt and rotate and set up situations where Kopi can take more shots and Kopi feels there are shots that have some chances to be productive and not certain position give aways.

    It is well known that Brown and Kopi often are not of synch and not clicking together for these and some other reasons.

    Again, as I pointed out, this is wholly now DL’s team and the issue is that
    he got these guys put together where Kopi is Kopi and the number one man for offense keys to every game. They get a solution to this chronic problem one way or the other, or as people and fans expect, DL is out and gone for being responsible for assembling players that are not clicking together to get offensive production up to at least average league standards.

    Sorry for being verbose on this, but it actually is a very complex problem on how Kopi can become an All Star again which can only happen if the other players he platoons with help him with that.

    • Nice post. I am new to hockey, so I am still learning how the game is played. I appreciated the nuances you mentioned on problems with the Kings offense. I will pay more attention to the items you mentioned in the next few games.

      As I am new and not a hockey player, I don’t know if this is a great idea, but I suggest making the following changes to the top 2 lines:

      Brown/ Kopitar / Carter

      Nolan or King/ Richards/ Williams

      I think that since Richards got his concussion he hasn’t been playing up to his capabilities. In my opinion, putting Carter on the line with Kopitar will give a nice offensive boost to both Kopitar and Carter.

      However, I would like to see Sutter wait another game or two before making this move. The Kings are playing well and I don’t think a change is needed quite yet. Hopefully Carter and Richards can get it together and score a couple of goals. We’ll see…

      • “As I am new and not a hockey player, I don’t know if this is a great idea, but I suggest making the following changes to the top 2 lines:

        Brown/ Kopitar / Carter

        Nolan or King/ Richards/ Williams”

        I don’t know if I like that idea…. it makes too much sense.
        What a novel idea…. something that makes sense for the franchise.

      • I like the pairing of Carter witjh Kopi, but I would wait a few more games until the lines get shaken up again. Carter deserves some time to settle in, and Richards and he are the most familiar pair possible for Carter. Maybe after Carter’s 5th or 6th game, if still dry, you might make changes. But I like the lines.

        • Did you mean dry as in no goals ..or
          Dry as in drinking :)
          GO KINGS GO!!!

        • Kopi and Carter is probably preferable to Richards and Carter. The guy who runs the Philly blog said that (as I recall) Carter and Richards weren’t actually that good of a pairing. Carter had his success w Giroux.

          So I’m fine w Kopi and Carter or Carter and any center (not Stoll), but really you add Richards and it’s three guys who were natural centers. I know that Dean loves his centermen and his gritty guys, but no need to exaggerate.

          Also feels a bit like grabbing at straws. If you’re grabbing at straws at game 60 whatever then something is amiss.
          Can you imagine trying to find linemates for Ryan Getzlaf at this juncture, or for Datzyuk?
          I can’t.

    • F–in great post by you Meister Jopocop. I didn’t even need to read the whole thing. Here is the meat as I saw it:

      DL assembled this crew, and when you break it down, there is a chemistry issue on role playing, where not all the players got the correct role figured out that really needs to be established for the good of the team and goals.

    • “Sorry for being verbose on this, but it actually is a very complex problem on how Kopi can become an All Star again which can only happen if the other players he platoons with help him with that.”

      NO NEED TO BE SORRY MATE. Very good breakdown on your part. Agree that if someone is building a team, these things need to be figured out in advance, rather than trying to figure it out as you go along.

  11. Leave Kopitar, Richards, Stoll and Fraser at Center.
    Our faceoffs are fine and they get the puck moving and all four of the guys go get the puck in the corners.
    The problem is only a couple of other guys can finish in front of the net.
    I’d tell Carter to stay in the slot and tell Richards and whoever is on the line with them to give Jeff the puck and go to the net with extreme prejudice!!
    the lines should be:

    1st: Williams/Richards/Carter
    2nd: Nolan/Kopitar/Brown
    3rd: Penner/Stoll/King
    4th: Clifford/Fraser/Richardson

    Westgarth is fucking worthless!!

    Change up the defensive pairings too:

    1st: Greene/Doughty
    2nd: Martinez/Mitchell
    3rd: Voynov/Scuderi

  12. Powerplay:

    1st team:

    2nd team:


    1st team:

    2nd team:

  13. I would rather see King in there than Penner – wouldn’t even be the slightest upset if Penner sat the rest of the season…..

  14. Worst. Lines. Ever.

    Do you want to make it easier on the other team to shut down the one scoring line? Carter and Kopitar must be on separate lines, except on the PP.

    Who wants to see Stoll as the #2 center again? Why would you want 3 Centers on the top line?

    Penner, Richardson and Lewis? You’re joking, right? Are you trying to give the other teams more goals?

    4th line is fine.

    Weren’t you the one that wanted Jack “Minus Forever” Johnson on the LW?

  15. Hell no! Kopitar can effect the outcome of a game by playing center. It’s not all about scoring goals. Kopi is our most effective all around player because he plays in the middle of the ice.

    • Sssshhh. Quiet………

      please don’t tell anyone that. You might disturb someone.

    • Kopitar has affected many outcomes this year and that is why the team is fighting to maybe land #8 seed…

      Lets put it this way, mark my words, if the Kings make or do not make a seed this year, it will be up to Kopitar to lead and produce, and frankly, at this point, I don’t care if assists or goals, but obviously, goals would be best…

  16. I love these lines Bobby! Why not not choose the lines based on how the players are playing now, instead of what “looks good, or right” on paper. Brown, and Stoll, to me, have an obvious chemistry, and both are hot. Put these two together, and I notice Williams works well with those two. I think Kopitar would work on LW, especially with Richards, and Carter. I wish I could see this too

  17. Kopi has been used as a right winger lately, and that produced nothing. If you try him at left wing, it’ll probably have the same results. Moving him around isn’t going to add more scoring, moving his wingers off the wall, and staggering them in front of the net will.

    • Just what we eneed, more staggering wingers. Wait… huh?

      • Wait…….. huh?

        OK, how about we go backwards? Do you understand what I mean? Like, this Seems (not for sure, but seems) to be a jigsaw puzzle that doesn’t fit together all that well.

        So you break it apart (that doesn’t mean rebuild, it means ‘re’ assessment) and try to figure out where the chemistry doesn’t function.

        One example (this is Only an example) is Stoll, Fraser, Kopitar, Loktionov, Richards, Carter and Lewis.

        That’s leaving Richardson as a winger. Still leaves you seven natural centers. I think that’s too many natural centers. I mean, these guys have played all their lives at one position and all of a sudden they’re here, there and everywhere.

        How many ‘natural’ wingers are on this team other than Penner who’s struggles are well documented?

  18. try it out first on the power play. if it looks like there could be something there to work with, give that line a period, then go from there.

  19. I got a problem here… Emphasized I can’t turn the italics off

    • Oh dude, I had the same problem. So I just went up to respond to any old post, and typed ‘test’ and it was normal.
      So I suppose going onto the next thread you should be fine.
      If not, then make a sign to Dutch as he seems to be ‘the man’ wrt this stuff.

  20. Yes, we need to find out how to get out of it on the same thread. Just posted on the other and there were no italics, so I suppose it’s not only getting into them but also ‘out’ of them

  21. hope this changes

  22. I like the idea of that top line, but I would move Penner up onto the second and Brown down to the third with Lewis centering the third. The only thing you lose with these lines is the work ethic with King in there on the second line, but it’s worth a try in practice eh? I’m sure theyve tried that line before…


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