Frozen Royalty: Anze Kopitar To Be A Little Greedy
Gann Matsuda is back at the computer and takes a look at what’s going on with Anze Kopitar. What the hell is going on? Read the rest here!
EL SEGUNDO, CA — The Los Angeles Kings appear to have turned things around, earning a 5-0-1 record in their last six games, and a 6-3-1 record in their last ten. All that comes after an absolutely dreadful stretch from late December through much of January that saw them lose ten out of twelve games.
But with six more ahead of them—a brutal road trip that includes contests against three of the Eastern Conference’s best—the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Washington Capitals, and the Philadelphia Flyers (they skate at Anaheim to end the ten-game stretch), it will be quite the struggle for the Kings to come out of that six-game trip with even a .500 record.
The problem is that the Kings need to come out of that six-game trip with a winning record just to stay in the hurt for playoff berth in the National Hockey League’s ultra-competitive Western Conference. But to do that, they will need more from top center Anze Kopitar, who is mired in yet another of his all-too-familiar goal scoring droughts, with just one goal in his last 19 games, and none in his last nine games. His last goal came on January 15, in a 5-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers at Staples Center.
Although Kopitar has continued to contribute with 14 assists in those 19 games, still leads the team in scoring with 16 goals and 34 assists for fifty points, and is ranked 15th in the league in scoring, the ninth-place Kings desperately need goals from Kopitar if they expect to gain ground on the eight teams currently holding onto the playoff spots in the Western Conference.
Indeed, Kopitar must break out of his slump. But how?
“I don’t know, maybe a bounce or two, maybe shooting the puck a little more,” he said. “A mix of everything, I’m sure. I’ve been there before, so I kind of know—well, I guess I don’t know how to handle it, because I’m in [a slump] right now. I just have to play hard, and things will come.”
“I wish I had that one answer that could turn it around,” said head coach Terry Murray. “You just have to work your way out of it. Just about every player that’s played sports—you’re going to go through a hard time, and there is no magic. It’s just getting back to the hard work, the fundamentals.”
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