And I've watched him his whole career. He's not Sidney Crosby or Alexander Ovechkin, but he is a great player. He played more minutes in a game in Philly than everyone else outside of Pronger and Timonen with his time on the power play and penalty kill. As I said above, he was often put with wingers who have little to no scoring ability and he still scored 66 points. That's not even mentioning the hand injury he had last year because the Flyers medical staff (known as one of the worst staffs in the league) didn't recommend surgery before the season started.
Welp, then at least it won't be much different with Brown and Penner on his wings.
The problem was before that. Sure he stumbled that caused him to whiff, but after he whiffed he shouldn't have just skated away. Then you whiff on a clearing pass with a defender on your back, you hit the brakes and fight for that puck. 999 out of 1000, that is what Kopitar does, which is why seeing him on this play was so startling.
I get what you are saying, it could be discussed the way you see it yeah. That shift was crap all the way. First he stumbled, then I thought that he was careless when he tried to clear the puck (I think he could have still protected the puck a bit more before pass) and then he looked pretty slow to get back. He had been on ice for a full minute then, but still I think he shouldn't have been out of steam. The only part where I can't blame him is what happened after that, he had to leave the two players covered by defensemen.
I guess it's easy to overanalyze after a loss like that. Let's hope we forget all this fast.