Much has been made in recent months of the (lack of) goal scoring that the Los Angeles Kings have seen out of Anze Kopitar. After recording only 10 goals during the lockout shortened regular season in 2013, Kopitar followed up with a pretty quiet postseason, which led to the Kings being eliminated in the Western Conference Finals.
Through two games this season, in which the Kings have recorded a 1-1-0 mark, Kopitar has yet to find the back of the net. It’s only a matter of time before fans in Hollywood start getting antsy about why Kopitar hasn’t scored, but he’s recorded a couple of points in those two games nonetheless.
The Kings have already come out and said that they expect him to shake off whatever issues he had that prevented him from scoring in the postseason. Regardless of whether or not those issues were health related, the Kings’ primary concern regarding Kopitar shouldn’t be his goal output.
Yes, Kopitar is a player that has previous put in more than 30 goals twice in his career. He’s set up those kind of expectations. At the same time, though, his career norm is something more in line with 25 or so goals over the course of a season. The amount of ways in which he impacts a game should make a 20-25 goal scoring season perfectly acceptable.
Kopitar is one of the game’s best two-way forwards. He won 61 percent of his draws in game no. 2 after struggling in the season opener, and is right at about 50 percent for his career. Even if he isn’t scoring, he’s setting up his teammates around him, with at least 40 helpers in five of seven years, with one of those two in which he didn’t reach 40 being the lockout shortened year.
When you combine the different ways in which he impacts the game, the goal scoring shouldn’t be the primary concern for the Kings regarding their star center. They have other players around him that should be relied on to put the puck in the net 30-35 times a year. A 25-goal season should be perfectly acceptable, and not frowned up, given how many different ways in which he’ll make a difference elsewhere for the Kings.
The long and short of it: don’t focus on the goal total in regard to Anze Kopitar.