Kopitar, on his new partner

Here’s a quick interview I did with Anze Kopitar, mostly about new linemate Ryan Smyth…

Question: Can you talk a little about the chemistry you and Ryan have developed so far?

KOPITAR: “We have clicked really good, and Justin is playing really good right now. For me, it’s just good to have a presence around the net, in front of the net. It’s huge for us, because Justin and I are maybe more of outside players. Just having Ryan around the net, or in front of the net all the time, it helps a lot. You’re confident, if you throw it at the net or behind the net, that there’s a really good chance he’s going to get it and make the play, if not score.”

Question: And that sort of goes along with what Terry Murray wants to see, right? That `shot mentality’ he talks about?

KOPITAR: “No question. (Smyth is) always around, or he’s always a screen for the goalie. You never know. If you have a bad-angle shot, you take it, and maybe it goes off him and off the defenseman and it goes in, and you get rewarded. I know it’s a cliché, but if you don’t shoot, you’re not going to score. You’ve got to respect that, that’s for sure.”

Question: Some fans have commented that you seem to be enjoying yourself more on the ice this season. Do you feel that way?

KOPITAR: “Well not necessarily. I always have fun playing the game. Of course, some times are tougher than the other ones, and some nights you’re a little more upbeat and sometimes you’re a little tired so you can’t be like that. But you’re having fun pretty much all the time. That’s why you’re playing the sport. It’s always a privilege to come to the rink and hang out with 22 other guys. It’s always fun.”

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