Where in the world is Anze Kopitar? - LA Kings Insider

It’s the question on everyone’s mind: What’s wrong with Anze Kopitar? The Kings’ leading scorer has one goal in his last 20 games and two goals in his last 25 games. Asked today after practice, Kopitar said he’s physically fine — no illness, lingering injury, etc. — except in one notable area: scoring. “That’s awful,” Kopitar said, plainly. “Everything else is good.”

The Kings have tried shifting Kopitar’s linemates, and will do so again tomorrow, as he inherits Michal Handzus and Wayne Simmonds, but it’s worth noting that this isn’t exactly new. Last season, on his way to career highs of 34 goals and 81 points, Kopitar had a similarly dreadful dry spell, with two goals in 24 games from mid-November to early January. In fact, last season’s run was worse, because Kopitar had only 12 points in those 24 games. He at least has 19 points in his last 25 games this season. Today, I asked Kopitar if there was anything, from his past — in terms of breaking out of slumps — that he could draw upon now, anything in terms of game play or attitude that could help turn things around.

KOPITAR: “I wish I knew. I would have done it a few games ago, probably. It’s nothing. I’ve got to keep working hard. Hopefully I need an ugly one. I don’t know. It just has to hit me and go in, or something. Or I need one where I really pick the corner and elbow it in or something. I don’t know. Like I said, I feel good and hopefully I will break through here.”

And what does Kopitar think of his new-look line?

KOPITAR: “It will be a little different. It’s one of those things where Zeus maybe has a little bit more patience with the puck, but he’s not the quickest guy out there. We will have to adjust to that, but Simmer is quick, and I’ll try to push the pace too, of course. I’m sure once the puck hits the ice tomorrow, we’ll be ready to go. We’re going to have to build the chemistry quick, and just play hockey.”

A couple others — Terry Murray and Michal Handzus — were asked for their assessments of Kopitar’s play, with Murray, not surprisingly, offering a bit more of a harsher criticism…

MURRAY: “I talked about it after the game last night. We played casually in the second period. I need to get the work back into it. I need to get that intensity and that dig-in attitude back into it. When you get into this sometimes, when you start to see offensive players having difficulty doing the things we talk about — shot mentality, scoring goals — you have a tendency to start to play on the perimeter. I need to bring him back into the game here. That’s what my read is when I watch the games, when I review the games. You have to get into these hard areas right now in order to change things around and be more engaged in the game, and not chasing the game. I felt, last night, that we were either in D-zone coverage or chasing back into our D zone with that line.”

HANDZUS: “It’s always about going back to the little things. Sometimes it’s not only him but it’s the whole team. We’re looking for better play, where we can shoot and get more shots. He’s been getting the chances but they’re not going in. It’s just staying positive. He’s got a great shot, and if he’s shooting the puck, it’s going to go in. When it starts going in, it’s going to come in bunches.”

Rules for Blog Commenting
  • - No profanity, slurs or other offensive language. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives.
  • - Personal attacks against other blog commenters, and/or blatant attempts to antagonize other commenters, are not tolerated. Respectful disagreement is encouraged. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted.
  • - Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted.
  • - Please do not discuss, or post links to, websites that illegally stream NHL games.
  • - Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. Do not type in all caps. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator.
Jake Muzzin

#6 | 6′ 3″ | 216 lb | Age: 27

Born: Feb 21, 1989
Birthplace: Woodstock, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Left


Muzzin was drafted in 2007 by the Pittsburgh Penguins, before signing to the Kings in 2010. He has since become the first Woodstock, Ontario professional athlete to win a major sports trophy.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.