Luc Robitaille – ‘Brown and Kopitar aren’t the same players’

Brown Kopitar Kings practice
Previously, we posted some thoughts on Jeff Carter that Luc Robitaille shared with Elliotte Friedman and Kelly Hrudey when he was a guest on Hockey Night in Canada radio.  During that same conversation they also talked about Drew Doughty and some of the struggles the Kings have gone though this year.  Take a look…

“We hope so,” Robitaille said, when asked if the team’s early season troubles are behind them now.  “We had a few guys that didn’t play during the lockout, and it showed, you know?  For the first two-three weeks, we had guys that didn’t seem to be able to keep the tempo of the style of game we want to play. And we were running into a little bit of the same situation (from last year) where we weren’t scoring goals. At the end of the day, in this league, if you want to win games, your penalty killing has to be good, your power play has to be good, and you have to score a few key goals. And we’ve started doing that.  I’d say about two weeks ago we played a big game in Detroit, where we came back near the end. We didn’t win the game, we gave up a goal with about five seconds left. But, it just seemed to be the turning point, where suddenly we looked like the team we were last year – near the end of the season and the finals.”

Things then turned to Doughty.  Of course, he hasn’t scored a goal yet this season and his plus-minus was pretty bad early on – however, that’s been improving of late.

“Actually, Drew has been playing well for us most of the year,” Robitaille began to explain.  “It’s kind of funny actually. Even though he has (a poor) plus-minus statistic, with Willie Mitchell missing, Matt Greene missing, he has – he has always played big minutes - but he’s playing big minutes that take a lot of work. Him and Rob Scuderi were playing against all the top lines, and everybody that was bringing a threat on the other side. And it just seemed like we weren’t scoring goals. So, teams were beating us 2-1, 3-1 and unfortunately it was the big guns on the other side that were playing. But, I don’t think Drew was playing bad. He’s definitely playing better and he’s moving the puck a little bit better offensively. But all and all, in our zone, he’s playing well.”

There was then some discussion about other Cup winning teams bringing back their whole roster.

“I think for us, we’re a very young team, and the few veterans that we’ve had or were older players, worked real hard for us in the playoffs…It happened that they were either signed, or we had an opportunity to sign them.  We feel if everyone plays the way they did last year, we have as good a shot this year as we did last year.  There is something to bringing back those guys, because I think they’ve learned to win now. And once you learn to win, you become a little bit of a different player, a little different attitude. And you can clearly tell in Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar; they’re not the same players they were before. They play with a little different edge now.”

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Comments

  1. IMO Kopi has taken away the most from the Cup-run experience. This year his confidence is at an alltime high. You can tell that when he has the puck he feels that he can get around anybody at any time. He’s a beast. There’s no more dump and chase with him, EVER. And the other thing that’s never been in his game before is the physical play. I’ve seen him play the body more in these 20something games than I have in all the regular season games he’s played to now. It’s just a matter of time until he starts putting up goals with regularity. I can see big stretches were he’s going to be 2 point-per-game player in the very near future!

  2. I agree those two clearly have up-ed their game. Still, is this a team that is always going to have trouble scoring? And why? I mean Gagne has the longest goal drought of his career in l.a. one game with a new club and he scores. It just always brings the question year after year, why aren’t we getting the most out of our players in the offensive zone when we obviously know they have more to give?