From the perspective of a Los Angeles Kings fan, I have to say that while I said I didn’t care if there was a season this year, I am very excited for the coming season particularly to see the Kings raise their long-awaited and much-deserved Stanley Cup banner. In addition to that, I’m even more excited to see this team, who still has its core intact, begin defense of their crown the right way. Had they gone through a canceled season and be called the defending champions by default like the Tampa Bay Lightning were eight years earlier, it would have been nothing less than a hollow victory, assuming it’s a victory at all of course. Thankfully, that won’t be the case.
Unfortunately, Anze Kopitar suffered a knee injury yesterday in Sweden and will be sidelined for the next three to four weeks. While it’s bad news and the timing isn’t exactly ideal with the lockout ending this morning, Kopitar’s injury isn’t as bad as even the worst skeptics might think. To put it another way, if you put this injury next to his ankle injury nearly two years ago, it’s nothing. With that said, Kopitar will have to miss the beginning of the abbreviated season but by the time the puck does drop, #11 should only be sidelined for a couple of weeks, three at the most. There’s a justifiable debate that can start from this arguing that NHLers should not be going overseas or wherever to play while they’re locked out – but that’s a topic for another day.
The good news is that the Los Angeles Kings should be well over the championship hangover and Conn Smythe-winning goaltender Jonathan Quick, who had off-season surgery, should be all ready to go by the time the Kings open their season.
Like with the other 29 teams, the Kings will be a little rusty at first but in time, they should find their groove and while they’ll be missing him at first, Kopitar will return in due time and the Kings can once again set themselves up for another playoff run where they hope to duplicate the same result they did last year.
Photo: Courtesy of AP/Mark J. Terrill