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Gasper Kopitar: Forever Skating In Big Brother Anze’s Shadow

Ontario Reign center Gasper Kopitar, the younger brother of Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar, scored the overtime
game-winner in his home debut, leading the Reign to a 3-2 victory over the San Francisco Bulls at
Citizens Business Bank Arena, in Ontario, California on January 5, 2014.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

ONTARIO, CA — Those who have brothers or sisters should be very familiar with sibling rivalry, and even having an older sibling who excelled in everything, and then having to follow in their footsteps with those huge shoes to fill.

If you think that’s bad, imagine being the little brother trying to live up to sky-high expectations set by an older brother who is among the best in the world in his chosen field or profession.

That is exactly what Gasper Kopitar has experienced throughout his life, dealing with stratospheric expectations as he follows in the footsteps of his older brother, Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar.

The older Kopitar, now 26 years old, is considered to be among the National Hockey League’s best players, and he has excelled at every level he has played at, whether it was back home in Slovenia as a teenager, two years in Sweden, and then in the NHL with the Kings, winning the Stanley Cup in 2012.

Those are enormous skate boots to fill, and the younger Kopitar indicated that unrealistic expectations nearly drove him away from the game for good.

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Jonathan Quick Could Return To Action Tonight For LA Kings

Also features a video interview with Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick.


LA Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick could return to action
as soon as tonight against the Vancouver Canucks.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — With the Los Angeles Kings mired in a five-game losing streak, one would think that the team would not be too upbeat during practice. Nevertheless, the atmosphere was light and high-spirited at their practice facility in El Segundo, California on January 3.

Perhaps the reasons for the smiles and laughs was that star goaltender Jonathan Quick is very close to returning to action after suffering a grade 2 groin strain, a partial tear, on November 12, in Buffalo.

“I’m feeling good,” said Quick. “I think the next step is getting some game action. I think that would be the next step, so it’s up to the coaches and trainers to see when they want me to take that next step.”

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The Sky Is Not Falling On The Los Angeles Kings

Also features a video interview with Los Angeles Kings forward and captain Dustin Brown.


LA Kings forward Dustin Brown, shown here
at a recent practice.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — As the Los Angeles Kings limped home after losing all four games on their last road trip, they head into a contest against division rival Vancouver tonight (7:00 PM PST, Staples Center) having lost five straight games for the first time since December 3 – December 13, 2011, a streak of misery that ended with the firing of then-head coach Terry Murray.

Although there seems to be a significant amount of panic among Kings fans, the circumstances are dramatically different from those of two seasons past. In fact, the Kings insist that they are not far off from being on the other side of the won-loss column in their last five games.

“We’ve played well enough,” said head coach Darryl Sutter. “If you look at it, prior to our last time we played St. Louis, we’d gotten points in five straight games. Four of them were overtime losses. Now we’re not getting the extra goal, so you’re not getting points.”

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Anze Kopitar’s Two-Way Play Has Been Key To LA Kings’ Success

LA Kings center Anze Kopitar, shown here during a recent practice.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — With the Los Angeles Kings beginning a four-game road trip in Nashville tonight (5:00 PM PST, televised on Fox Sports West in Southern California), and with the news that goaltender Jonathan Quick is on the trip, and is practicing with the team, it appears that he is now within a week or two of returning to the lineup.

When he went down with a grade 2 groin strain—a partial tear—on November 12 at Buffalo, a collective groan could be heard rumbling through Kings Nation. Many expected that the team would struggle to keep their heads above water without their star netminder. Some even thought the Kings would plummet in the standings.

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