When Anze Kopitar left Slovenia’s 5-1 loss to America on Sunday, Los Angeles Kings fans were holding their breath. Fortunately for them and Kopitar, the news wasn’t devastating.
“He just didn’t feel good,” Slovenia head coach and Anze’s father, Matjaz Kopitar, told the Los Angeles Times’ Helene Elliott. “Something with the stomach. He was without the power. Hopefully he’s going to be better.”
While the news that Anze Kopitar’s problem appears to be nothing more serious than an illness is a relief for the Kings under the circumstances, it remains to be seen what this means for him in the short-term.
Kopitar logged a game-high 26:50 minutes during Slovenia’s stunning 3-1 victory over Slovakia on Saturday. That win allowed them to take eighth place in the rankings, which presents them with a match against Austria on Tuesday.
That’s a contest the Slovenians have a real chance of winning, but they will have a tough time adding another chapter to this Cinderella Story if their only NHL player is on the sidelines.
Update: Kopitar visited the hospital due to his disease, but he feels better now and expects to play on Tuesday, reports the IIHF.