Anze Kopitar Week: The Greatness of #11, According to Everyone Else
Because we can only fawn over him so much.
And now, a non-exhaustive list of nice things that teammates, coaches, and opponents have said about a nice guy who's good at hockey.
Bruce Boudreau: "The guy is just flat-out good. I think he's one of the best of the world. If you're playing against him, you'd better be ready because he can play both ends of the ice and he can do it all."
Dustin Brown: "You try and describe guys [as] ‘shutdown D’ or ‘goal-scorer’ or ‘grinder.’ I’ve said this before about [Kopitar], he’s just a hockey player. If the best play’s a pass, it’s a pass, if the best play’s a shot, it’s a shot. He’s just a complete hockey player. He doesn’t get enough credit in my opinion, partly probably because of the market we’re in, his background. If he was a Canadian and played in New York, [there would] probably be more people talking about him."
Logan Couture: "Kopitar is the most underrated center in the NHL. We see him all the time, unfortunately. Because he combines size, strength and intelligence, he’s as difficult to play against as any player in the league. When we’re up against the Kings, I try and play like him."
Drew Doughty: "He just makes things happen when he has the puck, so I figure, why not give it to the guy."
Marian Gaborik: "There's a trust that we can know that we get it done... [Anze is] a great possession player, and he can find people. You can use that to stay close to each other and use that for a give-and-go game."
Ryan Getzlaf: "He’s a great hockey player. I’ve got a lot of respect for Kopi. He does things the right way. He plays the right way."
Wayne Gretzky: "I think Anze Kopitar right now is the third-best player in the National Hockey League, only behind Crosby and Toews. And he’s getting better every game."
Dean Lombardi: "Take your pick with that guy. There's been a lot of moments that, sometimes, you take for granted."
Willie Mitchell: "The defensemen... they're hoping if they're going out on the ice they're going out with Kopi because he's that responsible. On down low, you know where he's going to be, he's going to be an easy outlet for you. He's just going to always make the right play and then really he just makes everyone around him that much better."
Dustin Penner: "The ace up our sleeve."
Jonathan Quick: "Kopi is, in my opinion, the best two-way center in the league. The first thing you notice with Kopitar is how incredibly smooth he is in all facets of the game. I’ve never seen a big guy be that effortless on skates. He makes it look easy, which is maybe why he’s underrated in a sense."
Mike Richards: "He's a big, strong guy. He has skill. He's really got it all. Then you put the emphasis that he does on playing on the defensive side of the puck, that really makes a special player."
Brad Richardson: "We see him every day, so we're pretty fortunate but I think people around the league just getting to see how skilled he is... his vision is pretty special."
Rob Scuderi: "I think he should be a Selke finalist every year."
Jarret Stoll: "The game, from below our goal line, to the game at their net, it’s a full game from him, all the time. We know what we’ve got in Kopi. We’re lucky to have him and happy to have him."
Darryl Sutter: "He never has a bad game."