Oct 10, 2011, 3:08 PM EST
You could argue that Anze Kopitar missing the final days of last season and the playoffs is what did in their chances of going deep into the postseason. Kopitar’s ankle injury was an unfortunate break for a team on the brink of breaking out, but as he’s shown already this season, it’s not affecting his play.
Kings coach Terry Murray says that Kopitar is playing great and showing no ill effects from his ankle injury. With three goals and an assist in the Kings’ first two games in Europe, Kopitar is showing that those who thought he would be a dark horse pick for the Art Ross Trophy might have something to crow about.
Helping Kopitar break out are his linemates. While he was expected to have Justin Williams on his right side all along, having Simon Gagne to his left is a surprise and one that’s working out well so far. When Dustin Penner returns from his injury, Murray will have some choices to make with his lines and whether or not he’ll put Penner back with Kopitar or slide him in next to Mike Richards instead. Having those kinds of choices make being a coach a little easier.
If Kopitar can keep this brand of elite level play up he won’t just be in the running for the Art Ross, he could wind up in the Hart Trophy discussion as well.
- PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Kings win Cup, Martinez the OT hero 0
- Welcome to PHT’s top 14 stories for 2014 0
- Scott suspended four games for punch that was ‘neither predictable, nor acceptable’ 23
- Sharks’ Scott has hearing for his punch to Jackman 29
- (Video) PHT Extra: Christmas wish lists from around the NHL 2
- PHT interviews Don Maloney, who knows he has a big trade chip in Vermette 7
- Backstrom to start for Wild, who need their goalies to be ‘better’ 13
- NHL on NBCSN: Avs challenge Blues after narrow losses to St. Louis 6
- Gaudreau’s first hat trick helps Flames stun Kings 7
- Fowler after Ducks’ win vs. Sharks: ‘We never give up’ 1
- Sabres aren’t happy with league’s decision regarding Bartkowski (73)
- Report: NHL won’t hold hearing for Bartkowski hit (55)
- Video: Who are the Bruins targeting in trade talks? (47)
- Video: Bartkowski delivers controversial hit to Gionta, fights Foligno (47)
- Could Malkin be the next player to be fined for diving? (43)