Gann Matsuda On The Hockey Writers: LA Kings Must Keep It Simple Without Kopitar, Williams

LOS ANGELES — Although the Los Angeles Kings were not lighting the National Hockey League on fire by scoring goals in bunches before losing their top two scorers, the task at hand has become far more difficult.

After losing right wing Justin Williams to a dislocated right shoulder on March 21, and then losing star center Anze Kopitar to a high ankle sprain and torn ligaments on March 26, the Kings have been forced to do without players who combined for 47 goals and 130 points this season.

Further, Kopitar is the Kings’ best defensive forward, one who should receive serious consideration for the Frank J. Selke Trophy, awarded annually to the NHL’s best defensive forward. Indeed, Kopitar plays in all situations, so the Kings are missing a lot more than offense with him sidelined until next season.

That the Kings have a couple of big holes in their lineup is an understatement. Yet they must press on.

“No one guy can replace a Kopitar,” said left wing Ryan Smyth. “Everyone has to, collectively, come together and regroup. Everybody has to fill a good role, and it’s all about opportunity…”

To read the full story, click on: Los Angeles Kings Must Keep It Simple Without Kopitar, Williams.

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