January 15, 2010 25 Comments
LOMBARDI ON KOPITAR: Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi talks about his star center, Anze Kopitar, and his struggles this season after starting the year on fire. Part 2 of a series. Look for part 3 early next week.
LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Kings started the 2009-10 season on fire, as did center Anze Kopitar.
The Kings were scoring goals in bunches, as the line of left wing Ryan Smyth, right wing Justin Williams and Kopitar were torching just about every opponent they faced.
Kopitar was largely responsible for that, as he opened the season on a serious tear with fourteen goals and seventeen assists for 31 points in the team’s first 21 games (October 3 – November 14, 2009).
Indeed, with Smyth going hard for loose pucks and consistently parking himself in front of the opposition’s net, Kopitar found himself with more room to maneuver in the offensive zone, giving him more scoring chances.
But it was much more than Smyth that made Kopitar the scoring terror that he was early in the season.
Off-season conditioning and strength work added muscle and endurance to Kopitar’s 6-3, 222-pound frame. That gave him more speed and power to get past defenders and to help him win more loose puck battles. Read more of this post