I decided to translate an interview with Anze for all you LGKers. It was posted on October, 30th.
Link to source: http://sportal.siol.net/default.asp?...90610302004010
Anze Kopitar: By the end of season everyone will know about Slovenia!
At barely 19 years of age, Anze Kopitar, native of Hrusica, is without a doubt the brightest star of Slovenian hockey. Even though he's not the first Slovenian to get a taste of the best hockey league in the world, the NHL, he is the only one to secure a regular roster spot with one of NHL's professional teams.
And he did it in style. At the very first game the 6' 3" forward scored a couple goals against Anaheim, then continued on a strong pace and, by the time of this interview, has collected 12 points (3 goals and 9 assists), which rangs him high among NHL's top scorers. He is also the leading scorer of his team, the Los Angeles Kings. If he keeps playing like he has, there's a very bright future ahead in the NHL. He's also being considered a candidate for Calder trophy, which is awarded to NHL's best rookie of the season.
Q: You could hardly imagine having a better start in the NHL. What are your thoughts after these opening games, in which you made it near the top of the scoring list?
A: Indeed, I could not imagine a better start. My thoughts after the first few games are very positive. At the moment, however, the team is not performing very well, but I think we'll be able to eliminate mistakes and start winning more games. We know that if we play hard enough we can beat the best teams in the league.
Q: In most of the preseason predictions you were somewhat overlooked, which is understandable as just days before season's start it wasn't clear if you would make the Kings' first team. Right now you're probably one of most sought-after players on the team. Do you fancy the attention?
A: I take it as part of my job. It doesn't bother me and am always willing to talk to reporters if they're looking for a comment or wish to do an interview.
Q: It seems the fans have adopted you and are chanting your name at home games, though they have a few problems with pronounciation...
A: Yes, of course they're having some trouble, but are trying their best to pronounce it correctly. No way I can blame them for not getting it right 100%.
Q: No less impressed are your teammates. How have you clicked with them?
A: Very good, we have a good mix of older and younger players. The veterans are very kind and are willing to help us young players, which I think is very important.
Q: Americans are somewhat sceptic about anything not american, even more so in hockey. (Wtf did they mean by that?). You have developed in one of the best european hockey leagues. How would you compare the game in Sweden and the US?
A: The Swedish league is more defensive minded while here it's much more attractive for the spectators, with lots of goals in most of games. It's also faster due to smaller rink.
Q: And the city of Los Angeles? Have you become accustomed to life in one of the biggest cities, not only in the US but in the world?
A: I've adapted to Los Angeles pretty fast. I had experienced it last year, when I spent three weeks here, so I knew where I was going. Los Angeles is a great city.
Q: Are you happy with where you're staying? Is it a long drive to practice sessions?
A: I'm more than happy with my place. The beach is only a few hundred meters away, so I like to take a walk there in spare time. It takes about ten to fifteen minutes to a practice.
Q: Life is probably totally different than in the tiny and cosy Slovenia..
A: Absolutely! The two can hardly be compared...
Q: By now, do your teammates, with exception of Brian Willsie, who played here for ZM Olimpija a couple years ago, know exactly where you come from?
A: (Laughing). I think most of them still don't know exactly, but I'm confident by the end of season everyone will know where Slovenia is.
Q: You're very efficient in scoring. Already thinking where these strong performances can get you? Are awards like Calder trophy a special motivation or do you not care too much about that?
A: Not, it does not interest me, the only motivation is for team's success and getting into playoffs. Each game I try to do my best and help the team. If at the end of season that is enough for an award, even better.
Q: The rookie pool is not as strong this year as it was last year, when due to lock-out in 2004/2005 it practically consisted of two years combined. Still there's a few outstanding rookies this year around. Who are you most impressed with?
A: Malkin is probably the biggest favorite to win the Calder trophy, but there are other very good players, for example Wolski and Stastny, both from Colorado...
Q: Obviously you're high in coach Crawford's plans. Is his style much different than what you were accustomed to?
A: No. Actually, his character is very similar to that of my dad (Matjaz Kopitar is now a head coach of Acroni Jesenice, who are participating in Austrian national league EBEL with some success). He demands order and discipline and each player to give his maximum. I'm used to having a coach like that.
Q: Majority of our readers have picked you as Sportal's sportsman of the week. A message to them...
A: Keep following hockey, the NHL and domestic competition and support all our sportsmen!