Kopitar set to become Kings’ iron man
Assuming he looks both ways before crossing the street in the next 24 hours or so, Anze Kopitar will set a Kings franchise record tomorrow night by playing in his 325th consecutive game. Marcel Dionne played 324 consecutive games, from Jan. 7, 1978 until Jan. 9, 1982. Doug Jarvis hold the NHL record with 964 consecutive games played. Kopitar started his streak late in his rookie season, on March 21, 2007, after he returned from a back injury.
KOPITAR: “I don’t know if that’s something you want to look at too much, and jinx it. It’s definitely a nice accomplishment. Hopefully it’s not going to be done after tomorrow. I hope now. You just play and prepare yourself. That’s about as much as you can do for yourself. Come ready to play, and prepare, and obviously some stuff in the offseason helps too. If you get hit by a puck and break a bone, it’s not like you can do anything about it. The tendons and muscles, if they’re attached, that’s when you can kind of control it off the ice and just take care of yourself.”
Since most players do everything possible to hide the extent of injuries and soreness, it’s tough to know how close Kopitar has come to missing a game. Kopitar had a close call in this season’s opener in Vancouver, when he required 18 stitches in the mouth area after being cut by a stick. Kopitar played the next night in Calgary and didn’t categorize that as a “close call.”
KOPITAR: “No. It was sore, it was painful, but I’m not skating with my face. The only tough part was eating. My teeth were OK, but I had to chop the food down pretty far, into small pieces. Other than that, everything was fine.”