A Divided Kopitar Cannot Stand
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02-12-2011, 01:25 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Barstow, CA
I posted this in the PGT, but it's probably better here. Just my general thoughts on this whole issue.
Irregardless of linemates, when Kopitar plays aggressive he produces, when he's lackadaisical, he does not produce.
Sure, the more skilled the line mates the better....BUT, a line mate isn't going to make Kopitar hungry or aggressive; that's on Anze.
This guy has led the entire NHL in scoring on more then one occasion, and his line mates had very little to do with it.
If we bring in another scorer, it will be to make up for Anze's lack of production, not to "help" it, because it can't be helped. Anze is such a force, that only he determines when he's productive, and when he's not.
Also, I think the coaching staff, Anze himself, and most of the posters around here misunderstand what makes Kopitar successful offensively. He's better as a scorer, not a playmaker that feeds scoring wingers. Think Jagr. Jaromir always racked up assists even though he was primarily considered a goal scorer. Sure, he was good passer, and often set people up, but
many of his assists resulted from him creating scoring chances for himself first
, and his linemates capitalizing on rebounds, or a last second pass when Jagr ran out of room. That's why he had so many assists, and that's why Smyth was racking up the points when playing with a hungry Anze early in the 09-10 season. Smyth, slow as he is, has a knack for being in the right place at the right time, and was able to take advantage of Kopitar's left overs. Williams at the time was just average. You could have put any competent NHLer in that spot and they would have been scoring points.
Now before I get laughed at for comparing Kopitar to Jagr, keep in mind I'm not comparing their specific skill sets. Obviously Jagr had better pucks skills, better instincts, and an amazingly strong lower body, but I think that when Anze is at his best, he has a similar effect on the game, and his linemate's production. AK has something in common with all the great scorers of the past decades; when he's on his game, he IS going to score regardless of whose around him.
Here's a couple Kopitar "assists" I found from his rookie year. You know, back when he created offense by actually trying to score goals for himself 1st.
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