May 24, 2012
The Kings squeaked into the playoffs and look to become the first ever No. 8 seed to win the holy grail of hockey. While the Kings have been led in the playoffs by goaltender Jonathan Quick and captain Dustin Brown, it was Anze Kopitar who got them to this point.
Quick has been sensational this playoff season, posting a 1.54 goals against average with a .946 save percentage and Brown has posted 16 points, but it has been Kopitar who deserves most of the credit. The 24-year-old center from Slovenia is now in his sixth NHL season and is the most underrated player in hockey.
He’s scored 25-plus goals in five consecutive seasons and led his team with 76 points this season. It’s safe to say that his numbers would have been higher had his teammates played up to their potential this year as the Kings have just begun to click.
The Kings were expected to contend for the Cup in 2011-12 after they made some bold moves last offseason, bringing in Mike Richards from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for a couple of highly talented players in Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn. Well, things didn’t go as planned as the Kings found it merely impossible to put the puck in the net during stretches of the season.
Things were going so poorly for Kings that they were forced to fire head coach Terry Murray on December 12 and replaced him with Darryl Sutter. While the Kings responded well to the change, it still didn’t quite spark the offense to their liking and they traded young stud defenseman Jack Johnson for scorer Jeff Carter at the trade deadline.
Even after all the moves the Kings made this season, it was Kopitar’s consistency that kept the Kings afloat. He now has 15 points in the playoffs and always seems to light the lamp when his team needs it most.
Despite all the obstacles that Kopitar and the Kings have faced this season, all’s well that ends well as the Kings have reached the ultimate destination.
With the Eastern Conference still up for grabs between the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils, the NHL will be in the spotlight in the coming weeks. The man who will shine most on center stage is Kopitar himself.
July 28, 2008
By Drew Bufalini
As far as playoffs go, few exceed the passion and excitement of the Stanley Cup Finals. It’s the ultimate battle between the toughest ice warriors on the planet. Whether it’s experience versus youth or brains versus brawn, the winning team always exemplifies extreme endurance and a bottomless reserve of passion. Playoff berths aren’t casually handed out in the NHL. They’re won through grueling effort, brutal sacrifice and intense focus. The battle-tested Red Wings may have won the first two games of the series, but the Penguins showed in Game 3 that they belong in the Finals and won’t go gently into second place. With a 10-0 playoff record at home, one can only assume the Penguins have a surprise or two in store for Detroit. But when it’s all said and done, the Finals come down to one thing…the Stanley Cup. Hockey’s highest honor…the Holy Grail.
Unlike the Red Wings and the Penguins (who have to earn it), it’s much easier for regular fans to get their hands on the Stanley Cup. No matter waiting in line for a quick flash of glory…now anyone can bring home the Stanley Cup in Fathead form. Measuring 1′7″W x 3′3″H, the cup can transform any room into a hall of fame. Want to stick your passion for hockey where it counts? Visit www.Fathead.com and bask in the glory of the Stanley Cup.