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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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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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LA Kings Rookie Goalie Martin Jones Passes First NHL Test With Flying Colors

LA Kings rookie goaltender Martin Jones
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

ANAHEIM AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — After earning his first National Hockey League win in his NHL debut, a 3-2 shootout victory over the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center in Anaheim on December 3, rookie goaltender Martin Jones remained the center of attention in the Los Angeles Kings’ dressing room after practice on December 5.

Jones spoke with the local media in greater detail about his first NHL game.

“It feels good, for sure,” he said. “I just wanted to make sure that I made the saves that I needed to, and give the guys a chance to win, because we’ve got a great team in here. They played real hard tonight. All I had to do was give them a chance.”

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Frozen Royalty Video: Interviews with Greene, Jones, Kopitar And More After December 5 Practice

LA Kings defenseman Matt Greene
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty

EL SEGUNDO, CA — The Los Angeles Kings practice on December 5 was a full practice after a day off, following their 3-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks on December 3..

Frozen Royalty recorded video interviews after practice with center Anze Kopitar, defensemen Matt Greene and Jeff Schultz, goaltender Martin Jones, and head coach Darryl Sutter.

You watch them below…

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