Anze Kopitar said he expects better things from himself and the Los Angeles Kings this season after they missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second time in three seasons.
"The way [last season] went, nobody was happy about it from top to bottom, so we have something to prove right now," the center said at the NHL Player Media Tour on Friday. "If that's not motivation enough, I don't know what is."
Kopitar said he expects new coach Todd McLellan to make a difference. McLellan was hired on April 16 to replace Willie Desjardins, who took over after John Stevens was fired after a 4-8-1 start.
"Everybody had a good summer," Kopitar said. "Todd coming in is going to be somewhat of a fresh start, a new voice that we needed. And then it's the same thing: You have to have a good start to the season. That's what it is. Come Thursday, we have to start preparing toward the first game and making sure that the chemistry is there and the energy level and obviously the character is still there. I know that. But we have to put it all together."
The 32-year-old led the Kings with 60 points (22 goals, 38 assists) in 81 games last season, a big drop from the 92 points (35 goals, 57 assists) he had in 2017-18, when he was a finalist for the Hart Trophy, awarded to the NHL's most valuable player.