One Kings player who was happy to make the trip to Europe was Anze Kopitar, who got a taste of home when the Kings spent a few days in Austria. Kopitar’s native country, Slovenia, shares a border with Austria.
“It was a good experience,” Kopitar said, “just to be back there and see how the games are there and be able to play there again. Obviously we had some good games there too.”
Before he left, Kopitar said he was concerned about the attention he would get there and how many ticket requests he would face, but Kopitar said it was pretty much smooth sailing on a personal level.
“All my buddies made sure they bought tickets during the summer,” Kopitar said. “It was definitely a good feeling to have all my buddies there. I was really surprised by how many guys from back home came to watch me (in London). I wouldn’t have minded to play some more games there.”
But now there are games to be played in North America, and Kopitar stressed the importance of getting off to a strong start, beginning Saturday at Staples Center against St. Louis.
“It’s always important, every game, but especially now because we have some new bodies in the locker room,” Kopitar said. “We know the fans are excited to see us in Staples Center and we want to have a good start so they will have a reason to stand behind us. It’s always fun to play in front of 17,000 people.”