Friday, December 18, 2015

Anze Kopitar Jersey Card

So... last night I went to see the Los Angeles Kings play against my hometown Montréal Canadiens...
Many thoughts went through my head: even if the Habs don't play well, hey, it's the Kings. As long as Milan Lucic doesn't score, I'm good, with Drew Doughty, Tyler Toffoli, Anze Kopitar, Jonathan Quick and Marian Gaborik...

Doughty and Gaborik each had a goal and an assist, and Kopitar scored the other one, Toffoli and Lucic each got an assist, and Quick made 45 saves in a 3-0 shutout win. Alex Galchenyuk was the most dangerous forward for Montréal, playing on two lines in the third period, centering his own unit with Lars Eller and Sven Andrighetto, and playing right wing on the top line with Tomas Plekanec and Max Pacioretty.

It was a very entertaining game, despite clueless idiots booing for the final two minutes as the Habs couldn't buy a goal or even get a shot through Los Angeles' four-man penalty-killing box.

What I like about L.A. is how they're so good, they never have to force anything. They're huge but fast, so they can match anyone's speed and overpower anyone. All they need to do is keep at it, relentlessly, pushing forward, and good things come. That's exactly what Kopitar brings as well. He could easily concentrate on getting 90 points a year and pad up his resume, but instead he plays a sound two-way game where he plays like all the other great two-way centres (Pavel Datsyuk, Patrice Bergeron, Plekanec), stopping the opposition from stacking their own points, taking the puck away, winning faceoffs, getting his 70-plus points and Selke nominations (top-4 finishes in the last three seasons, including runner-up last year) relatively quietly. Oh, and winning Stanley Cups, the whole point of this.

The Kings wore their white, silver and black uniforms on Thursday, but here's a card where Kopitar is sporting their throwback purple one:
It's card #S-AK from Fleer's 2013-14 Showcase set (and Stitches sub-set), manufactured by Upper Deck. The game-worn jersey swatch that's incorporated in it is white, but it doesn't detract from the purple and gold at all.

The only negative point about my outing is that instead of staying to mingle with players after the game, I decided to show my friend, who was visiting from Mexico, the Ring of Honor on the highest wall around the rink; no less than four security guards stopped us to ask us what we were doing, while small groups of drunken frat boys were left alone as they were screaming obscenities while finishing their drinks.

One security guard asked if he could ''help'' us, to which I replied: ''why, sure, you could concur that Doug Harvey is the greatest defenseman of all time''.

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