Kings center Anze Kopitar will lead his native Slovenia in its Olympic hockey debut Thursday, a moment he and his compatriots are sure to cherish.

Not to dampen their enthusiasm, but there is one small fact that must be mentioned: Slovenia’s opponent will be the host team, powerful Russia, which is sure to have overwhelming support from the crowd at the Bolshoy Ice Dome.

Sounds like the second part of the classic good news-bad news scenario.

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