Here are Anze Kopitar’s thoughts about Patrick O’Sullivan’s return to the top line, along with his impressions of what it might mean for him…
Question: You’re back with Patrick now. Is that comfort level there right away?
KOPITAR: “I think so, yeah. I think we had good chemistry going last year. Maybe we were a little disappointed in the beginning because we didn’t play together right from the start, but that’s how it is. The coaches and the staff had their own reasons why they didn’t put us together, but I think now all three of us are really happy to get back together and show that we’re going to be a great line.”
Question: What is it about the three of you that works so well, in your mind?
KOPITAR: “Maybe it’s just the mix of everything. Sully is more of a shooter. I’m maybe more of a passer. Brownie is more of a power forward than a shooter, so it’s probably just a mix of all the skills that we have. We’re young and energetic and we kind of think the same way too, so that’s probably what helps us.”
Question: Does having a shooter like him out there make the opposing team look at you guys differently?
KOPITAR: “Maybe, yeah. I’m pretty sure we’re going to see checkers every night now, but that’s what we’ve got to deal with. We had checkers last year, and we’ve got to battle through it.”
Question: Might it open things up for you a little bit more?
KOPITAR: “I hope so. Not that it wasn’t open enough yet, but there might be some more space out there for me now.”
Question: Do you get a sense that teams have been focusing on you a lot more this year?
KOPITAR: “I think so, yeah. Especially on me and Brownie. Like I said, we’re facing the checkers every night and a tough pair of defensemen, but we take it as a compliment. We’ve got to be doing something right if they’re trying to shut us down.”