Monday 10: Searing hot scorer, GK and rook 

October, 26, 2009
10/26/09
9:55
AM ET

As Don Draper/Dick Whitman (played beautifully by Blues fan Jon Hamm) learned on Sunday night's episode of "Mad Men," it's pretty tough to keep a secret forever. At some point, you just forget to take the keys out of your bathrobe. Or you get two really good wingmen.

In Los Angeles, the latter has happened to Kings kid pivot Anze Kopitar, who won't be among hockey's best-kept secrets for much longer if he continues his early-season scoring tear. With that in mind, I'll start this week's edition of the Monday 10 in Hollywood.

1. Anze Kopitar: Through 147 of the league's 1,230 regular season games, the 22-year-old Kopitar stands as the scoring leader with 21 points. And you thought there was a league rule that forced Alex Ovechkin to be the top scorer?

The 6-foot-3, 222-pound Slovenian enjoyed a big weekend, putting up two goals and three assists in helping the Kings to back-to-back wins over the Coyotes and Blue Jackets. Kopitar's crew has won four straight, and they currently sit atop the Pacific Division.

The club's No. 1 center has found a nice chemistry with veteran wingers Justin Williams and Ryan Smyth. With the trio creating problems for opponents at even strength and on the power play, the Kings have been able to jump-start a long-dormant offense. Through its first 12 games, Los Angeles is averaging 3.67 goals per game. That's up dramatically from the 2.46 gpg (which ranked 27th) the Kings produced last season.

Kopitar & Co. will be hard-pressed to keep the puck moving forward this week. They visit the Sharks on Wednesday, then return home for a Thursday night clash with the Canucks.


To read the rest of Hradek's thoughts from the weekend, including his take on a surprising teen talent and the hottest goalie in the NHL, you must be an ESPN Insider.

E.J. Hradek

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, joining the staff prior to its launch in 1998. He began covering hockey as a writer/editor for Hockey Illustrated in 1989.

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