Anze Kopitar turning heads
<img src="/images/kopitarsmall.jpg" border-0 align=right>Kings rookie center Anze Kopitar turned some heads around the NHL over the weekend by racking up five points (2g+3a) in his first two NHL games. On Friday night, the 6'4, 220 lb. overnight sensation from Jesenice, Slovenia scored his first goal by blowing past all-star defenseman Chris Pronger on a one-on-one, then added his second goal minutes later. During Saturday's home opener, he tallied three assists in the Kings 4-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues.
After his first home game, Anze told Fox Sports, "In just one word, it's absolutely 'Awesome'. I've got to thank you, all the fans that come and support us. We did great today on the ice and I think the win is good for our club, too."
In just two nights, Kopitar has given Kings fans a ray of hope that there may be surprises in store for this season, despite the fact that everyone and their brother is picking the Anaheim Ducks to parade down Katella Blvd with the Stanley Cup this June. While most critics have been asking where the Kings will be getting their offense from this season, Kings fans got a taste of the possible solution. Kopitar was scoring, passing and even defending like a seasoned pro and should only improve as he becomes more acclimated to the North American game. He's not timid about taking chances, in fact he oozes confidence and gets the crowd on their feet each time he joins the rush.
That being said, keep in mind that it's a long season and the day-to-day grind may take it's toll, so keep the expectations realistic. Let's not forget Dominic Lavoie, who scored a hat trick in his first game as a Los Angeles King. Where is he now?