Kopitar shares details on his illness, talks about his season

Anze Kopitar, on why he did not play in the game against Tampa Bay:
Feeling better right now and it was a, I don’t know how you call it, a stomach flu, a stomach virus. Something that didn’t feel great after, what was it, Sunday practice. Sunday went home and just didn’t feel good and I could kind of feel my stomach turning and then it went and spiraled on me pretty quick. That was it.

Kopitar, on whether it was something he ate or just a virus:
I don’t know. Yeah. It could’ve been something that I ate although I eat breakfast here and nobody else had it. I don’t know. If there was something that I ate the night before, after the game, honestly I don’t know, but I feel like I’ve turned a corner now, so I feel a lot better.

Kopitar, on whether he feels strong enough to play against San Jose:

Kopitar, on how often players get sick without the media knowing about it:
Quite often. I mean, I think even if it was a night game I probably would’ve maybe play, I don’t know. But, like I said, yesterday in the afternoon, I felt a lot better. It was just the afternoon and the night before where I was literally just laying in bed and doing nothing. Couldn’t even drink water or anything and got about two hours of sleep the night before so I figured that my energy level was not going to be up to par and that’s why I don’t think it would have made any sense to push it and you know, go down there and I don’t know, play the first period and then say ‘I can’t do it anymore.’ And risking spreading it around the locker room – so that was the other thing, obviously.

Kopitar, on whether he watched the game against Tampa Bay:
I watched the start of it and then I kind of fell asleep throughout the second and then I ended up watching half of the third. [Reporter: That’s got to be a helpless feeling.] Yeah, obviously I’m not the biggest fan of being a spectator. Even the first and the third that I was watching, it’s kind of in and out. I don’t want to get too riled up and too stressed out about it because I can’t do anything about it.

Kopitar, on whether he feels confident he can pick up his offensive production to where it was in the few games before he became ill:
Yeah, for sure. I felt pretty good before this happened. I felt good on the ice, felt like I was playing with the puck and making plays that I normally do, so I think I’m trending in the right direction. It’s obvious we’re desperate to get points and you obviously want to help the team in getting those and in order to do that I’ve got to produce, so you’ve got to get it going again tomorrow.

Kopitar, on whether it grinds on him when his numbers are lower than expected:
I expect the very highest of myself, so yeah it’s not the best feeling when you look at numbers, just because of my personal expectation. Whatever the outside world thinks it’s not weighing on me as much as I do on my own, but like I said, I think things have been going in the right direction now and hopefully I can sustain it.

Kopitar, on a 3-3-0 home stand and the team’s play:
Well I didn’t think we played poorly, but I also think we didn’t play up to our potential. I think the first part of the home stand, I think our starts have been pretty ok at best. You know, nothing spectacular. Our last half of the home stand I think our starts have been better but you know, even during the Winnipeg game I think we started off really well and then kind of got stalled in the second period and then ended up having to come back in the third period and in overtime so I think we’ve just got to put together a full 60 minute game tomorrow and obviously finish this home stand on a high note.

Kopitar, on the importance of the next five games before the All-Star break:
Well it’s always important and usually you know everybody’d say that after the All-Star break the picture gets clearer on playoffs, not-playoffs. What have we got now, five games before the All-star break? I mean, obviously we want to win ‘em all, but you certainly want to put in the work and make sure you get the very most points you can get.

Nic Dowd, on whether there’s still pain from the puck he took to the face versus Tampa Bay:
No it’s really not — I mean, yeah, there’s some pain for sure just like any other bruise but like I said it was just really lucky. It hit me in a perfect spot, just to be honest.

Dowd, on the last time he was hit in the face with a puck:
Last time I got hit in the face with a puck was in the North American League, I got hit right here with a slapshot. I was standing in front of the net. Exact same thing though, I just had like two stitches and that was it. So I got really lucky there, too. Nothing with my jaw or anything like that.

Dowd, on whether the feeling is “just like being punched in the face hard”:
Basically, yeah. It was like the equivalent of being suckered. I didn’t see it coming. You know I watched a video, I must have saw it coming more than I thought because I did turn my face but I don’t remember seeing it coming at all. [Reporter: Did it deflect off your visor?] No it just hit me straight flush. Yeah.

Dowd, on how many stitches he got:
Just five on the inside and I think a couple on the outside. [Reporter: Well, you lived to tell the tale.] Exactly, yeah. Yeah, it’s ok.

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