Anze Kopitar’s production has been a big topic of discussion this season, not only on an individual basis but because the Kings have struggled to find a high-scoring first line. Kopitar has 10 goals and 19 assists through 38 games, which would put him on a full-season pace for 22 goals and 41 assists. In his first season, Kopitar had 20 goals and 41 assists, and last season he had 32 goals and 45 assists. Here are Terry Murray’s thoughts, from this morning, about Kopitar’s play…
Question: Expectations are pretty high for Kopitar, given his last couple years and the contract he signed. Where is his game right now?
MURRAY: “Well, a contract, to me, has nothing to do with it. That’s nobody’s fault. That’s just the market. That’s the way it is. So I never enter into any discussion with a player and discuss that at all. I think his development has been tremendous. He’s 21 years old, in his (third) year in the league, and he’s seeing prime minutes and situations and he’s playing the game full-ice. I look at the start of the year and training camp and I was not seeing that, so to me there’s a tremendous improvement in his overall game. His work ethic is tremendous every day, and we’ll just keep pushing on through this area of the game. It comes together rather quickly, actually, for a young player like that who continues to show that kind of intensity. I only need to look at the team we played last night, with Carter and Richards. I remember very well those two guys coming out of junior and their game and where it is today.”