‘Sup Kopi? Why You Be Illin’?

80’s flashback aside, what the fuck right?

I won’t post the stats. I refuse to post the stats because when I read them, they piss me off. The number of goals divided by the number of games = shit.

I love Anze Kopitar.

You love Anze Kopitar.

Kopitar states he wasn’t injured. Banged up, but not injured.

Courtesy of Jon Rosen:

“I guess I’m getting back to no discomfort and good strength in my knee and should be fine,” said Kopitar, who plans to shed the knee brace that he used during the season. “And [in regards to] being injured during this playoffs, there was really no significant injury that I suffered. It’s normal being just banged up a little bit – a few bumps and bruises, but that’s about it.”

The knee brace didn’t keep him from scoring goals. It may have limited some of his range of motion but the Kopitar I saw (a) did not go to the net often enough (b) did not stay near the net when he did go there (c) was knocked off the puck far too easy (d) was rarely a factor on the forecheck and (e) didn’t get open to take high percentage shots on goal.

Game 5 was his best game. Notice from where he scored the goal. Not coincidence. And a powerplay goal! When the hell did he last have one of those? Screw it, don’t pull the stat, it will result in anger.

And really all of that comes down to a lack of effort, right?

That is why I thought there must be an injury.

That is why I just could not chalk it up to a “slump” (as Rosen called it) because we’re talking about the playoffs, with a 25-year-old star in the league and a veteran of this hockey club that just won the Cup and he knows what it takes to win it and also knows what a critical piece he is to our success…

Do we just say, meh, slump at the wrong time and let’s hope it doesn’t happen again? I can’t do that. Is he just a streaky player and we have to pray one of his cold streaks doesn’t last 30-40 freaking games?

Was it conditioning and Kopitar needs to be in much better shape? He struggled with this in his first few seasons and took great strides after 2010.

Is he not telling us the whole story, meaning he really was and is injured?

I hear he is getting married…I mean, women do make you soft (I swear, I heard the unison of hissing and angry meows as soon as I typed that…shit, they are probably even madder after the meow reference and I don’t even have a saucer of milk laying around) but that can’t be it. No way. I have seen his girl friend / fiance. She is hot. And it’s not like he is…nevermind, that can’t be it…you know, Kopi does live with his parents I think and this is a big step and all, wait, wait, wait, is it even true he is getting married? Someone help out with this before we take it further.

Look, maybe I should do what Surly is doing and not let it bother me and move on.

It bothers me.

That is why I want to know…


Categories: L.A. Kings News

Tags: , , , ,

15 replies

  1. Maybe he left something else behind in Slovenia haha

  2. Season’s over nothing he or anyone can do about it now. Every athlete goes through them. The problem either gets better or snowballs. His snowballed. He’ll learn from it and be on a rampage next season. Maybe his best production ever.

  3. I’ve been mentioning this exact thing on this blog and others, as well as with my friends for the past handful of years. I’m not going to rip on the guy because I came to grips awhile back on what he brings to the table. His slumps and hot streaks are all attributed to the same exact thing-desire! When he plays around the net and is willing to pay a certain price, he shines, when he’s allergic to it(quite often) he stinks(scoring goals). This just didn’t happen over night, this has been happening his entire career. The proof is on video-watch the games if you have them saved. He has always been a streaky player. But it’s taboo to say anything negative about Kpitar here in LA. The truth is, his hockey IQ is one hundred percent incredible , but his mental fierceness and his desire to go “after it” and to be the “man” is average, at best. He doesn’t have the mental make-up to be a superstar, he just doesn’t. He was born with incredible gifts of skill but the mental skill between the ears is a bit more challenging. He’s a great player and he’ll be a star, just not the superstar you’re all expecting. I’m not talking shit about Anze, I’m just stating what I’ve witnessed over the years.

  4. Because I hadn’t heard he was getting married, I had wondered if he was breaking up. I never really feel the players’ lives are any of our business, but I did speculate that if his heart was broken, it could mess with his motivation because to me, it didn’t look like he was trying all post-season. I didn’t really want to believe that, though. Not Kopi. I was convinced he was injured. I would have bet real money, I was so sure.

    But now he says he was only banged up.

    I’m ashamed to say I was a little angry with Kopi, and after he’s been so good for the team. I had thoughts like, “WTF. All these other players were stepping up even though they were injured. Richards came back from a concussion and resuscitated us just before the horn. Williams comes through in game 7. Fucking Slava and Quick…there are no words.” But then I look at Kopi’s sad little panda face, my anger dissipates and I forgive him.

    Rosen blamed it on a slump, but like you said, a slump doesn’t explain why Kopi wasn’t even in position to score. To me, a slump is where you’re trying like hell but it’s just not happening. It’s out of your control, so you just keep slugging it out knowing that it’ll come around eventually. You throw pucks toward the net and good things happen, right? No. I’m not buying the slump explanation.

    I’m thinking it has to be something mental. Maybe he’s afraid he’s not as good as everyone insists he is. Sutter keep making comments about how great he was and maybe he’s just afraid he can’t live up to that. Like authors who write one amazing, fantastic, bestselling book, and then never write another one because they’re afraid it won’t measure up.

    On the meow factor, I’m not upset that you said a woman can make a man soft. That’s true. What I didn’t understand was the suggestion that a hot woman wouldn’t do that. What does hotness have to do with it?

    • The “she’s hot” thing was a random statement with no relationship to the premise. It was akin to, “so, I was talking to this guy about the 2nd amendment and whether, whoa check out the rack on that chick, the Constitution was intended to…”

  5. I don’t know, man. something was seriously up with Kopitar. Where was the guy who beat. Parise around the outside on the left wing boards to score that awesome goal in game 3 of ’12 SCF? He is not a player that gets intimidated, or hasn’t faced top competition for the last three years running, something was up. Even though this coincides with his usual December disaster. No, this was the playoffs, and he knows what they are all about.something was up, be it the injury, girl trouble, or something else, but something was not right.

  6. I tend to take in information visually. When you look at Kopi you can see kindness and a ‘lightness’ about him as a person. I don’t mean that in a negative way. When Toews is interviewed, or Zetterberg, if you look carefully, they come across very differently. There is more of an ‘edge’ there…. even when Zetterberg seems open and engaging, there is still something quite different from Kopi.

    Also, I lean towards the idea that these yearly slumps of Kopi’s are very much between his ears.
    So, it’s about making a decision to reach another level. Do I think he has the capability in him? Definitely. Do I think it will manifest itself? I really don’t know. Time will tell.

    Whereas Doughty is just clearly an unqualified competitor when the stakes are high. Same with Quick. Different from Kopi in that way.

  7. Guys, guys, guys, (and girls): let’s take a moment and step back a second. Think about it. Anze is a beast. He is one of only a few guys in the league that you literally cannot take off the puck, who’s overall strength and size allows him to dictate the movement of the puck, the flow of the offensive rush, the inevitable push that makes defensemen quiver in their skates. But as we all know, hockey is not a game of individuals – at least an individual a championship does not make. And we also know that you need 4 consistent lines and stellar defense (especially the goalie) to win the Cup. We also know that teams around the league NOW know this about Anze. They match him against the best defenders every shift, they hit him and attempt to disrupt his flow, rattle his brain, and take him off his game. Was he off a bit during the playoffs? sure, but day in and day out his line went up against their opponents best defensive pair and their best defensive forwards. We know this; the teams said as much – Sutter knew this which is why he attempted to get him some more open ice on the 3rd line. Does he have slumps? sure, but all great players do as they learn to overcome the obstacles that teams throw at them. This is, what I believe, contributed to Anze’s unproductiveness. The real challenge is how Anze responds to this: will he simply relegate to a streaky scorer or will he adapt like many of his peers? Zetterberg went through or is going through the same thing, so did Gretzky when he went to a team with only two productive lines (i.e. Rangers and Blues). This is the next step in Anze’s development. I hope that he takes it as a challenge and finds another way to be the beast that we – and the rest of the league – knows him to be.

  8. This thread title almost made me quit the website on principle.

  9. Has anyone considered the fact that Brown played injured therefore like nonexistent in the playoffs. Brown is Kopi’s wingman. They were unstoppable last playoffs. Assists and goals together combined were what made our top line the best. If Brown is down and out Kopi is down and out. Granted he is a force on his own but the guy needs his back up man to motivate and assist. Brown’s lack of leadership really took our stride away. Last playoffs all we needed to get ourselves out of a slump was Brownie to turn up the beast mode. This post season it was nonexistent after his two game bullshit suspension. Kopi and Brown have this chemistry similar to Carter and Richards. They’re puzzles that just fit together perfectly. When one is broken or missing you can’t play with it…

    • Agree up to a point wrt Brown’s injury, but realistically, playing Chicago in the WCF is simply not close to the same thing as playing Phoenix in the WCF. Phoenix was playing very well last year for sure, but Chicago’s depth, speed and skill would be a completely different challenge for the Kings and our top line.

  10. Irregardless of the who’s hotter question, a woman can kick the shit/life out of you if you have feelings about her. I just don’t think that is it in this case. Like you said he just came off the playoffs of his life. He knows what it takes, and he didn’t bring it. There has to be an injury there has to be something. Maybe it is the girl, but I doubt it.

  11. There’s a lot more to be said, but I just want to address some points made above.
    1. The league knows who he is now and therefore, are matching him against top defense.
    First of all, for years mow teams have matched their top D against Kopi as his line was the only real threat. This isn’t a new thing that explains why he’s struggling now. Second, when we acquired Richards, Carter, and reshuffled the lines, teams could no longer solely focus on Kopi. I would say Carter and Williams were drawing more attention that Kopi. Not being able to just shut down one line should give him more room than before.
    2. I call bullshit on the streaky thing. Sure, I remember the seasons where Kopi would come out of the gate on fire just to go cold mid-season. But, 30+ games on a slump? And as mentioned, his determination is what is slumping. He’s not getting the bounces because he isn’t pushing. I’m a fan, and he is a great player, but he was coasting out there.


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