February 22 practice quotes: Anze Kopitar - LA Kings Insider

On the team’s recent even strength play:
“Yeah, I think it’s coming around…We had a tough 35 minutes in Chicago, and after that we woke up and had a decent period – the third period in Chicago – so that was good. After that, I think we were starting to play solid hockey again.”

On the chemistry and the possession game with Dustin Brown and Justin Williams:
“Yeah, we had a couple of rough games, if you pick out a few. Edmonton was not the best possession. Chicago was not the best possession. But in Calgary, I thought we managed the puck pretty well, especially through the neutral zone. That pretty much sets up offensive zone time, anyway, and once we were in the offensive zone we were able to make plays and get open and get some quality chances.”

On the keys to slowing down a fast Colorado team:
“The way you slow them down is really a puck possession game. We want to make sure we make strong plays again through the neutral zone, first and foremost, and then holding on to it in the offensive zone. By no means are they a big team, but they have a lot of skill and speed. I guess we have to use our ability to protect pucks to our advantage, and we’ll see what happens.”

On managing and protecting the puck, especially through the neutral zone:
“I guess it goes back into a little bit of a D-zone, too. For me, as a centerman, I’ve got to get low. I’ve got to make sure that I give support to our D-man. The last couple of years with Dewey, it was fairly easy, because obviously he makes really good decisions on the ice and really good plays. So every time that I’ve gone through the neutral zone with speed, he was able to find me. It backs them off a little bit. It gives me a little bit of room, and then I can make plays off that. Through the neutral zone, you want to make sure that you have a good support, that you’re not dumping pucks in places where you can’t get it back. Every time you hit the blue line wiuth speed, for the most part it backs the D-men off and you can make plays off the rush.”

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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.