Kopitar talks trading deadline, late season push - LA Kings Insider

I spoke at length earlier today with Dean Lombardi about the trading deadline and will begin to post several of his pre-deadline musings on LAKI in the lead-up to a LAKings.com feature, which should go up at some point on Tuesday.

Anze Kopitar did not take the ice at Sunday’s optional skate, though he did speak to several members of the media gathered and placed faith both in Lombardi’s ability to improve the team, as well as the players currently populating the Kings’ dressing room.

“You know what? Dean has done a real good job throughout the last three or four years. He seems like he’s always put pieces together the way it’s supposed to be put,” Kopitar said. “We’ve got all the confidence in him that he’s going to push the right buttons again. I don’t think anybody’s pushing, really, for a big trade, because we obviously feel really comfortable with the personnel that we have.”

Anze Kopitar, on the 2013-14 Kings:
I don’t think there’s a whole lot of difference to it. Obviously there’s some different personnel, but I think the main guys are still intact and will be intact for a long time here, so that’s good. We’ve just got to, I guess, find that hot streak at the right time. It seems like we’re playing pretty well right now, but we’ve got to build on it. We’ve got 20 games left right now, and [we need to] just build it up to the playoffs. Obviously make the playoffs first and get in and get as good a position as you can get, and we’ll see what happens after.

Kopitar, on what has allowed the Kings to hit their stride late in the season:
It’s hard to say, but I think we are a team that is built better for playoffs than we are for the regular season. It seems like even the last couple years, we’ve had some struggles during the regular season, but when it’s time to make it all happ[en, we were right there and we were up to the challenge. I think it’s getting to about that point of the year where you’ve got to ramp it up. The guys are well-rested now, and we’re going to be ready to go.

Kopitar, on Mike Richards and Jeff Carter being “difference makers” in L.A.:
To be quite honest, I don’t know what was going on in Philly, not to a detail. They’ve been great for us. Mike has been outstanding ever since he got here, Carts has been scoring goals, and that’s what we need him to do. Mike is a great two-way guy and a great teammate. That’s no different from Jeff. He’s, again, scoring goals for us, he’s making the big plays and he’s logging a lot of minutes, so that’s great. I guess it’s great for them to reunite over here and a little ways away from Philly where they’re not under the gun as much anymore. I think they’re enjoying themselves, too.

Kopitar, on whether he’ll watch the Oscars:
I think so, yeah. It’s a good day for a couch day.

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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.