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.