I'll be straight with you. I root for Anze Kopitar not only because he's super-badass, but also because he seems like one of the nicest guys in sport.
He's been the best player on the Kings' top line, which made him the the target of all sorts of bullcrap for years, and yet he holds himself above it. He does not do cheap shots. 50% of his penalties last year came from Mike Smith tackling him and the refs getting confused.
He is also a self-effacing superstar. A warrior and a gentleman. So when praise comes his way, even in a league that's unequal to his skill level, he can only squirm a little.
Naw, no. You're never too good for the coach, you know--you always have to respect the coach, it doesn't matter where you play, in the NHL, or here, or anywhere else. You have to respect him, and that's what I'm doing.
Hem, haw, well. Kopitar wanted to be in this league because he wanted a chance to play with his brother more than anything. But he still wouldn't carry himself above the team. That's not just lip service, that's who he really is.
A few more highlights from Mora: Gasper Kopitar scores.
And the children love their Anze T-shirts! Think of the children.