This was a sight I was hoping to see a lot of during the upcoming NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. I had hopes of picking Anze Kopitar later in the playoff pool draft as a "sleeper" pick, but my draft board will now need a new "sleeper" as Kopitar won't be participating in this year's postseason. And while my personal playoff draft picks won't matter much in the grand scheme of things, I have to feel for the Los Angeles Kings who, barring some miracle, might have the fight of their lives just to make it out of the opening round of this year's dance. Losing Kopitar is one of the biggest downers for the Kings in recent memory, especially heading into the postseason.
If you haven't seen the video and are a little weak in the stomach when it comes to seeing slightly gruesome stuff, I suggest not playing the video. If you think you can handle it, here's Kopitar's season-ending injury from yesterday's game against the Colorado Avalanche.
In Kopitar's case, he'll be out with what is being called a "broken ankle". I have no doubt that it is broken, but the severity may warrant some surgery for Kopitar as well. If surgery is required, he's looking at being off skates all summer long most likely.
I really thought that Los Angeles could have been a darkhorse through the playoffs this year. If Jonathan Quick got hot and the Kings found some scoring from multiple lines, they may have knocked off a few of the powerhouses in the West. After all, anything can happen in the playoffs. In saying that, they still could shock the world and roll through the Western Conference.
However, losing Kopitar removes one of the brightest young stars from the game and the Kings' roster. The chances of pulling off an upset without him just got a whole lot harder, especially when potentially being matched up against Phoenix, Detroit, San Jose, or even Vancouver.
I wish Anze Kopitar all the best in his recovery, and hope that his ankle heals stronger than before. It's just a shame that we won't get to see his heroics in the playoffs this year.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!