NHL: Stanley Cup Finals…From Kopidor to Kopitar
Anze Kopitar continues to show the world that he is one of the top overall players in the National Hockey League. The Los Angeles Kings top line center once again led the way, scoring the overtime winner in game one of the Stanley Cup Finals Wednesday night.
What makes Kopitar even more impressive is his great defensive awareness. Outside of the west coast, most fans and media know Kopitar as a phenomenal player, but they have no idea how dominant the giant Slovenian really is. While he may not be at the level of Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin offensively, Kopitar’s board play, size and strength, as well as hockey sense make him a force at either end of the ice. With the improved offensive depth of the Kings, Kopitar now has additional room to work his offensive magic with linemates Dustin Brown and Justin Williams.
If the Los Angeles Kings do go on to win the Stanley Cup, currently in my mind Kopitar should be the Conn Smythe winner as playoff MVP. While Brown and goaltender Jonathan Quick have been playing terrific, Kopitar’s full ice dominance has gone noticed and he has continued to be the Kings best overall player throughout the playoffs.