Skip to content

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

Mar 18, 2013, 10:10 PM EST

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. Ducks get their veteran d-man, adding Wisniewski from Columbus

    Mar 2, 2015, 3:57 PM EST

    James Wisniewski Getty Images

    They were “adamant” about bolstering their blue line.

  2. Columbus signs Atkinson to three-year, $10.5M extension

    Mar 2, 2015, 3:06 PM EST

    Columbus Blue Jackets' Ryan Murray, right, is congratulated by teammate Cam Atkinson after Murray scored a goal against the New York Islanders in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Columbus, Ohio, Sunday, April 6, 2014. The Blue Jackets won 4-0. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon) AP

    Speedy winger was rumored to be a trade deadline target.

  3. Leafs flip Jokinen to Blues

    Mar 2, 2015, 2:43 PM EST

    Toronto Maple Leafs v Carolina Hurricanes Getty Images

    Has only been to the playoffs once in his career.

  4. Wild add defensive depth, get Leopold from Columbus

    Mar 2, 2015, 2:23 PM EST

    Pittsburgh Penguins v Columbus Blue Jackets Getty Images

    It’s the veteran’s third team this season.

  5. Canucks get Conacher from Isles for Jeffrey

    Mar 2, 2015, 2:18 PM EST

    Bridgeport Sound Tigers v Albany Devils Getty Images

    Couple of minor-league forwards switch clubs.

  6. Goalie trade! Sabres send Neuvirth to Isles for Johnson

    Mar 2, 2015, 1:49 PM EST

    Michal Neuvirth Getty Images

    Buffalo also gets a third-round pick in 2016.

  7. Trade: Islanders acquire Kennedy from the Sharks

    Mar 2, 2015, 1:41 PM EST

    Tyler Kennedy Tyler Kennedy

    San Jose gets a conditional 2015 or 2016 draft pick in return.

  8. Pens and Blues combine for another trade, flip Bortuzzo for Cole

    Mar 2, 2015, 1:40 PM EST

    Pittsburgh Penguins v Minnesota Wild Getty Images

    Jim Rutherford and Doug Armstrong orchestrate another.

Featured video

Trade deadline storylines to watch
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. H. Lundqvist (2623)
  2. K. Okposo (2581)
  3. N. Horton (2521)
  4. T. Hall (2350)
  5. R. Miller (2286)