It's easy to point to the heroics of Jonathan Quick between the pipes as the catalyst behind the Kings' impressive run this postseason, and for good reason. However, Quick's saves mean nothing if there's no production down the ice. Quick doesn't win games for his team–he prevents his team from losing.
Strong cases can also be made for the performances of blueliner Drew Doughty, who has been spectacular with his physical play, and captain Dustin Brown, who has come up with timely goals and huge hits in critical moments.
But it's Kopitar's play this postseason that has driven these Kings forward time-after-time.
He's not your typical athlete of this day and age.
Off the ice he has a calm and humble demeanor which, when compared to that of other NHL players, is surprisingly refreshing.
On the ice, he's no different–his first fight in the NHL was in the first round of this postseason, and he didn't instigate it.
Kopitar doesn't need the tough-guy attitude–he does his talking on the ice–and these playoffs have been no exception.
As an alternate captain, Kopitar's leadership on and off the ice has pushed his Kings to within three wins of the Stanley Cup.
Here are his top 5 plays of this year's postseason.