Originally written on Red Light District Hockey  |  Last updated 3/7/12

NEWARK, NJ - JANUARY 31: Anze Kopitar #11 of the Los Angeles Kings skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on January 31, 2010 in Newark, New Jersey. The Kings defeated the Devils 3-2. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

NASHVILLE – This week I caught up with Los Angeles Kings forward Anze Kopitar to get his thoughts on Jonathan Quick, the playoff races and the team’s offensive struggles.

RLD: Can you even put into words how valuable Jonathan Quick has been this year?
Anze Kopitar: He’s been great for us. If you consider all the offensive struggles we’ve had and not scoring goals, he’s kept us in every single game all season. There’s not a whole lot more you could ask from him. He’s given us a chance and that’s all you want.

It’s really amazing how he can stay consistent throughout the whole year. It’s really nice to see because he’s a great goaltender and an all-star. Hopefully he’ll keep giving us that chance for the rest of the year.

The team has scored some more goals in the last couple games; do you feel you’re starting to turn the corner a bit offensively?
I think so. We’ve been getting more and more shots and chances. If you get that, sooner or later the goals are going to come, too. It seems like the last couple games we’ve clicked a few more times than we did before, but now we have to keep it going.

Has the lack of scoring been frustrating?
It’s always frustrating for every team that doesn’t score or for every guy that doesn’t score like they should. What happened is in the past and we have to look ahead to these final games and give it a good push and shoot for the playoffs.

How will Jeff Carter help the offense?
His experience and presence are going to be a help. He’s been in the league for a long time now and he has scored some big goals. Last game against Anaheim he had two for us, and that turned out to be the difference in getting us two huge points.

Did this team change at all when Darryl Sutter took over as coach?
We got a little more aggressive than we were before, therefore we’re getting more chances. The system didn’t change a whole lot when he got here. He just wanted us to be a little more aggressive in pursuing the puck. If you do that properly you have more chances to make plays with the puck.

Who is the best defenseman in the NHL at the moment?
[Pause] I don’t think you can go wrong with Shea Weber or Ryan Suter. They are always solid. Nicklas Lidstrom is up there. I’d pick one of those three. They can play both ends of the ice. Sometimes when you look at other defensemen, their offensive or defensive game is not as good. Those three can do it all everywhere and you always have to be aware when they’re on the ice.

What is the toughest arena to play in?
I’d say Calgary. It’s a really good atmosphere every time. It’s packed and it’s loud. For some reason we haven’t had a whole lot of success up there over the years.

Lastly, do you feel you guys are essentially in the playoffs right now?
Absolutely. The playoffs have started early for us. Every game is a big game and we need the two points every night. We’re in a pretty good spot despite being on the bubble. Now it’s up to us and how we respond in this final push. We’ll see at the end of the season where we end up.

Photo credit: Getty Images
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Cam Newton addresses ‘gang’ photo on Instagram

Steelers defense is younger and faster but not better

Duke basketball to visit White House next Tuesday

Report: Cowboys have interest in Broncos RB Montee Ball

NFL owners to discuss changing Goodell's disciplinary role

Report: Eagles trade Matt Barkley to Arizona Cardinals

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Bill Belichick on having Tom Brady back: ‘He never left’

Mendoza replaces Schilling on 'Sunday Night Baseball'

Report: LeBron expanding program to help adults get GEDs

Here's Johnny 2.0

Michigan remains a fixer-upper in wake of loss to Utah

Tom Brady Sr. happy 'Kangaroo Court' no longer in session

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Robert Griffin III and a dream deferred

Best, worst surprises of NFL preseason

The Gospel Of Harbaugh prepares for its ultimate test of faith

Meet the Utah Utes, the pluckiest program in college football

Iman Shumpert will name daughter Iman Shumpert Jr.

Dallas company celebrates Romo with DirecTV 'crownies'

Top 10 storylines for Week 4 of the NFL preseason

Matt Williams is still hopelessly married to the idea of the closer’s role

Five unique CFB games to watch this weekend

Be careful what you wish for, Jay Gruden

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker