Maybe you haven’t figured it out yet, but we are, uh, pretty big fans of Anze Kopitar around here. Like, we try to keep it under wraps, but —
Wait, what’s that?
It’s been in our Twitter bio for the last few months, but it’s becoming increasingly serious. pic.twitter.com/HNd9milkii— Jewels from the Crown (@JFTC_Kings) February 28, 2018
Ah, sorry. I regret to inform you that we actually have no chill whatsoever.
We outlined the case for Anze Kopitar, MVP, back in April — his achievements are significant, even moreso when you consider the dismal season he had to bounce back from in order to get here at all. After near-career lows in 2016-17, the Kings’ captain had a career year this past season, hitting career highs in goals (35), assists (57), and overall points (92). His 92 points were the most by a King since Wayne Gretzky in 1993-94.
Kopitar’s 92 points were far and away the most on the Kings this past season; Dustin Brown was second with 61 points. And speaking of Dustin Brown, reuniting him with Kopitar on the top line this season helped him essentially reboot his career, showing that he can still contribute in more ways than just hits. (At least two other non-us people agreed with that, as Brown earned two votes for the Selke. )
In the midst of all of the who deserves the Hart furor, however, Kopitar delivered an astounding statement game, recording four goals against the Colorado Avalanche and his Hart competition, Nathan MacKinnon. In the end, it didn’t do much to move the needle on his candidacy, but it sure was beautiful to behold.
At the end of the day, however, Taylor Hall captured the Hart Trophy. Hall’s 93 points meant that he amassed 41 more points than Nico Hischier, the second-highest scorer on the Devils.
Hart Trophy voting breakdown (voted on by PHWA) pic.twitter.com/YHfjiBzr3d— Sean Leahy (@Sean_Leahy) June 21, 2018
Kopitar finished third in Hart voting, gathering 11 first place votes, which, while not the preferred outcome, is at least numerically satisfying.
Kopitar isn’t going home empty handed, though; earlier in the evening, he took home his second Selke Trophy.