I asked Anze Kopitar about his motivation. It seemed obvious to me that as a rookie, his motivation was to make the NHL and show people that he could play at this level, which he certainly accomplished. So I wanted to know about next season, and what would drive him during the summer. Being known as a No. 1 center? Leading the team in scoring? Instead, he gave me an answer that was relatively bland but said a lot about his maturity as a 19 year old.
“The next step is just helping the team make the playoffs,” Kopitar said. “That’s the only thing I’m looking for next year.”
As a center, Kopitar has played with just about every winger on the roster this season. Marc Crawford certainly isn’t shy about moving guys around. I asked Kopitar specifically about his pairing with Dustin Brown, since that connection seems to be working well in the last few games.
“He’s a guy who can make plays and hit hard,” Kopitar said. “When he’s out there, he creates more space for me and everyone beause people are aware of him and he makes plays and hits that give you a couple extra seconds when you have the puck. He’s just overall really good.”
More from practice later.