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. Quick: Pacioretty is ‘the most underrated player’

    Aug 4, 2015, 10:40 PM EDT

    Max Pacioretty Getty Images

    It blows the Kings goaltender’s mind that he’s not talked about more, so let’s discuss him.

  2. Canucks hand Weisbrod assistant GM job, make further front office changes

    Aug 4, 2015, 9:20 PM EDT

    canucks logo

    He used to have that role with the Calgary Flames.

  3. Sens want to see if Hoffman ‘can do it again’

    Aug 4, 2015, 7:50 PM EDT

    Mike Hoffman Getty Images

    They signed him to a one-year deal while fellow breakout rookie Mark Stone got a three-year contract.

  4. Canucks ink Brandon Sutter to five-year, $21.875 million extension

    Aug 4, 2015, 6:28 PM EDT

    Brandon Sutter Getty Images

    Jim Benning follows through after calling him a “foundation piece.”

  5. Poker star Daniel Negreanu plans to buy slice of Vegas franchise

    Aug 4, 2015, 6:20 PM EDT

    Daniel Negreanu Getty Images

    Assuming of course Bill Foley succeeds in his attempt to bring the NHL to Sin City.

  6. Red Wings ’14-15 Outlook

    Aug 4, 2015, 4:55 PM EDT

    Detroit Red Wings v Buffalo Sabres Getty Images

    Where should we set the bar post-Babcock?

  7. Poll: Can Detroit make it 25 straight playoff runs?

    Aug 4, 2015, 3:55 PM EDT

    Tampa Bay Lightning, Detroit Red Wings AP

    Yes, it’s the inevitable, perennial Red Wings question.

  8. NHL unveils ‘historic’ digital media rights deal with MLBAM

    Aug 4, 2015, 3:05 PM EDT

    Beyond Sport United 2015 Getty Images

    MLBAM will handle NHL.com, Center Ice, Game Center Live and the NHL Network in 2016.

  9. Red Wings’ biggest question: goaltending

    Aug 4, 2015, 2:15 PM EDT

    howardmrazekgetty Getty Images

    Can Jimmy Howard and Petr Mrazek get it done, collectively?

  10. Caps GM provides positive injury updates for Backstrom, Orpik

    Aug 4, 2015, 12:22 PM EDT

    Colorado Avalanche v Washington Capitals Getty Images

    The skilled Swede may or may not be ready to start the season.

  11. Looking to make the leap: Dylan Larkin

    Aug 4, 2015, 11:17 AM EDT

    Dylan Larkin Getty Images

    He’s already made a positive impression on Jeff Blashill.

  12. Under Pressure: Jeff Blashill

    Aug 4, 2015, 10:08 AM EDT

    cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznpwfin2ixyjjjywfizwyynmm3n2fkyjmwztaynmzly2y1 AP

    Mike Babcock’s act is a tough one to follow.

  13. It’s Detroit Red Wings Day at PHT

    Aug 4, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT

    Petr Mrazek AP

    The book has closed on the Mike Babcock era.

  14. Avs-Red Wings alumni game to feature Sakic, Forsberg, Shanahan, Lidstrom

    Aug 3, 2015, 11:00 PM EDT

    2011 NHL Entry Draft - Round One Getty Images

    The squads will feature players that were part of either organization from 1996-2002

  15. Sharks re-sign Aaron Dell after strong AHL campaign

    Aug 3, 2015, 9:45 PM EDT

    Aaron Dell Getty Images

    He’ll be fighting to be seen as the team’s third-string goaltender.

  16. What does Jack Eichel mean to the Buffalo Sabres?

    Aug 3, 2015, 8:15 PM EDT

    Jack Eichel Getty Images

    He’s already improved the perception of the franchise, but will he have that kind of impact long-term?

  17. MacLellan doesn’t think summer additions have to take from Johansson

    Aug 3, 2015, 6:45 PM EDT

    Marcus Johansson Getty Images

    He’ll have a tough time maintaining a top-six role though.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. D. Stepan (1352)
  2. E. Fehr (1091)
  3. N. Bonino (1090)
  4. J. Toews (1047)
  5. J. Voracek (1020)