Anze Kopitar Climbs Out Of Slump, LA Kings Become More Dangerous

By Randy Holt
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Kings have had a bit of an up and down stretch in the Stanley Cup Playoffs to this point. At times, they’ve looked like the dominant team that won their first title in franchise history last year, while others have featured a team that lacks composure and offense.

One of the players that the Kings have needed to get going in order to avoid the latter taking over regularly is Anze Kopitar. In Game 5, he finally broke out for the Kings, making this club even more dangerous.

Kopitar had another fine regular season, as he continued to establish the fact that he’s one of the best two-way forwards in the game. However, while his point total in the 48-game season was impressive, finishing with 42 points, while only missing one game, his goal total was not. He had only 10 during the regular season.

That lack of goal scoring carried over into the postseason. Prior to Game 5 against the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference Semifinals, he had just one goal throughout this entire postseason, and only five points overall. Is his Game 5 performance a sign of things to come?

Kopitar finished the game with a goal, which opened the scoring and turned out to be the game winner, and a plus-2 rating. Even better, he finished with a success rate of 58 percent at the faceoff dot, winning 14 of the 24 draws that he took. Which proved to be key as the Kings took the series lead.

While it’s definitely a positive that he got his offensive game back on track with the goal in Game 5, he’s also not the type of guy that needs to be scoring goals in order to be effective. Regardless of that fact, his goal scoring has been lacking, throughout the entire regular season. So this is definitely a plus.

If Kopitar is going to use this momentum he started in Game 5, and watch it carry over into the remainder of the series, and the rest of the postseason, as long as the Kings are still around, this team becomes that much more dangerous. In fact, a hot Kopitar, on top of the rest of their roster doing what they’re supposed to be doing, could be the most dangerous team left in these Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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