Skip to content

Sutter on Kopitar: ‘He’s a special player’

Mar 18, 2013, 10:10 PM EDT

anzekopitargetty Getty Images

If a highly paid All-Star can be “underrated,” then Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar might just fit that description.

That could be especially true when it comes to two-way play. Head coach Darryl Sutter gushed with praise regarding all of the strengths that the 25-year-old brings to the ice to LA Kings Insider.

“He’s the best all-around centerman that I’ve coached, period. Period,” Sutter said. “Faceoffs, last minute, first minute, penalty killer. Plays against everybody’s top player, whether it’s a defenseman, a center, a checking role or an offensive role. He plays 20-plus minutes. Doesn’t take penalties. It’s the whole deal. He can play it whatever way we want. Do you want to come and get me? Come and get me…He can play it any way we want. And you know what? The best thing about Kopitar is he’s getting better. And when they do the comparisons with guys that are like that, there’s only a handful of them.”

The Slovenian is also one of the biggest skill players in the game. Sutter believes that he’s really learned how to use that to his advantage on a more regular basis.

“Big guy,” Kopitar said. “The biggest adjustment that he’s made since I’ve been here … is playing that way all the time, and I think the playoffs last year, that stimulated him into seeing the ability to stay with it instead of getting frustrated with anything that’s got to do with numbers. Just to stay with it. He’s a special player.”

Kopitar, Sutter and the Kings face the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday night.

Latest Posts
  1. No buyout: Flyers will keep Gagner

    Jun 30, 2015, 1:31 PM EDT

    Arizona Coyotes v Buffalo Sabres Getty Images

    Former first-round pick is relieved after a “stressful” last few days.

  2. Habs re-sign deadline pickup Flynn: two years, $1.9 million

    Jun 30, 2015, 1:14 PM EDT

    Montreal Canadiens v Toronto Maple Leafs Getty Images

    Former Buffalo forward had three points in six playoff games for Montreal.

  3. Florida waives Boyes for buyout purposes

    Jun 30, 2015, 12:15 PM EDT

    Carolina Hurricanes v Florida Panthers Getty Images

    33-year-old had 14 goals and 38 points last year.

  4. Hurricanes to buy out Semin

    Jun 30, 2015, 12:13 PM EDT

    Carolina Hurricanes v Columbus Blue Jackets Getty Images

    Six goals in 57 games last season.

  5. What character concerns? Treliving has ‘slept like a baby’ since Hamilton trade

    Jun 30, 2015, 10:57 AM EDT

    Dougie Hamilton Getty Images

    “This doesn’t keep me awake at night. Since the day we got Dougie Hamilton, I’ve had the best sleeps of the past few years. “

  6. ‘Hawks sign No. 3 goalie Leighton to one-year extension

    Jun 30, 2015, 10:42 AM EDT

    Michael Leighton, Chicago Blackhawks Getty Images

    With Antti Raanta gone, he’s now set as the backup’s backup.

  7. Report: Isles, Hickey closing in three-year pact around $6.5M

    Jun 30, 2015, 10:24 AM EDT

    thomashickeygetty Getty Images

    26-year-old defenseman has missed just one game over the last two years.

  8. Lightning, Sustr agree on two-year extension

    Jun 30, 2015, 10:23 AM EDT

    Andrej Sustr Getty Images

    It’s reportedly worth $2.9 million.

  9. Lehtonen, Niemi see benefit in splitting goalie duties

    Jun 30, 2015, 9:50 AM EDT

    Kari Lehtonen Getty Images

    They both finished in the top 10 in minutes in 2014-15.

  10. Caps’ Wey retires at 24 due to concussions

    Jun 30, 2015, 8:57 AM EDT

    Patrick Wey Getty Images

    He made his NHL debut during the 2013-14 campaign before his career was derailed.

  11. Where to next? Arcobello poised to test UFA market

    Jun 29, 2015, 10:55 PM EDT

    Anaheim Ducks v Arizona Coyotes Anaheim Ducks v Arizona Coyotes

    He played with four different NHL teams last season.

  12. B’s GM Sweeney a lightning rod for criticism

    Jun 29, 2015, 10:31 PM EDT

    Don Sweeney AP

    It’s not all about the Zac Rinaldo trade, although that certainly didn’t help.

  13. VandeVelde signs two-year extension with Flyers

    Jun 29, 2015, 9:29 PM EDT

    Chris VandeVelde Getty Images

    He establish himself with the team after years of work primarily in the AHL.

  14. Sharks agree to five-year deal with Brenden Dillon

    Jun 29, 2015, 8:26 PM EDT

    Brenden Dillon Getty Images

    San Jose still has an opening on its blueline.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. D. Hamilton (2082)
  2. C. Talbot (2019)
  3. R. O'Reilly (1970)
  4. S. Gagner (1760)
  5. M. Richards (1669)
  1. R. Lehner (1630)
  2. E. Etem (1615)
  3. M. Lucic (1536)
  4. A. Niemi (1459)
  5. K. Letang (1398)