What if I say I’m not like the others?
What if I say I will never surrender?
Pretender, The Foo Fighters, Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace (2007)
It was a collective gasp. Even Los Angeles Kings television commentator Jim Fox couldn’t help but ask Anze Kopitar to get up, out loud, multiple times. Then news came from Terry Murray:a broken ankle. Kopitar would be out a minimum of six weeks – essentially ending his season. The Kings point leader, Kopitar, was having his best season and becoming a dark-horse for the Selke Trophy. With the injury occurring during a crucial stretch of games to end the year, today’s MRI will give further insight as to the full extent of his injury.
Due to Kyle Clifford’s recent injury the Kings called-up and retained Oscar Moller. Since then Kyle Clifford has returned to the line-up. This exempts the Kings from making an emergency call-up to the Manchester Monarchs in Kopitar’s absence. Only suffering additional injuries would make this an available option.
Having just lost the team’s second leading scorer, Justin Williams for approximately four weeks, the Kings were already hurting up-front. Due to Kyle Clifford’s recent injury the Kings called-up and retained Oscar Moller . Since then Kyle Clifford has returned to the line-up. This exempts the Kings from making an emergency call-up to the Manchester Monarchs in Kopitar’s absence. Only suffering additional injuries would make this an available option.
“He’s our best player,” Brown told Helene Elliott and the Los Angeles Times. “We’ve got to find a way either way. Injuries happen during the year. You don’t want your best player to go down. If that’s the case we need to shoulder the responsibility collectively and find a way. No other team is going to feel sorry for us.”
Kings radio commentator Daryl Evans discussed the playoff push, Williams and Kopitar, starting with the team’s third period reaction to the Kopitar injury. He saw this as a positive sign for the remainder of the season and playoffs.
Following Murray’s announcement Evans concluded that “it is definitely a huge loss. I think the structure and make up of the team will allow them to forge ahead and give other players an opportunity to step up and grasp the moment. They have to take it game by game, shift by shift, and play with a lot of patience.”
That structure is one that has been preached from the beginning of the year and team defense has stepped-up in result. Defense wins championships, as the adage goes and Evans believes in this being a big part of the Kings recent record and continued success going forward.
“They’ve kept themselves in each and every game besides the game against the St. Louis <Blues>. ” Thinking of the Western Conference teams, Evans added that “this time of year every game is tight and the goaltenders are at the peak of their game. The forwards are back and sacrificing their bodies to block shots. Giving up a point or not getting a point can mean not making post-season play. That is why everything is so tight, and a little more conservative hockey is being played by all.”
Much like the successful goaltender duo from the Boston Bruins, the Kings have been riding one of the best goalie tandems in the league. This needed defense seems to play very uneven between Jonathan Quick And Jonathan Bernier. Evans explained this with a much different and insightful spin.
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