And how about Anze Kopitar? Kopitar’s goal drought has now extended to 10 games. Everyone seems to agree that Kopitar simply hasn’t been the same player since Ryan Smyth went down with his upper-body injury, but given that Smyth is still likely to be out for at least the next 12 days or so, it’s highly unlikely that the Kings can consistently win without production from Kopitar.
You might remember that, a couple days ago, Terry Murray shared how he had spoken with Kopitar about playing in the areas in which he found success earlier this season. Today, I asked Murray what needed to happen in order for Kopitar to get going again…
MURRAY: “You know, there’s a lot of good attitude still going on out there, with his play. We saw it several times last night, coming hard off the wing and taking pucks to the net. I see him playing in those hard areas still. You’ll get rewarded for that. He’s had several great scoring chances per game here, over the last while, and that’s what you’re looking for. There’s no guarantee the puck is going to go in every night. As long as the scoring chances are there, and he’s in the right areas to bring those opportunities to himself, that’s what matters the most. He will get back there on the goal-scoring side of it. I feel good about his game right now.”