Chat with Katie Strang
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, hockey writer Katie Strang stops by to chat about the latest news from around ice.
In addition to covering the NHL as a whole, Strang, who previously covered the Islanders for Newsday, also covers the Rangers, Isles and Devils for ESPNNewYork.com. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.
Send your questions now and join Strang Monday at 3 p.m. ET!
Katie Strang (3:00 PM)
Hey puck-heads! Let's kick off another drama-filled week of hockey right here. Monday's gotta be good for something, right?Fire away
Now that there has been time for players to gel and for coaches to put systems in place - what teams are we going to now wee come alive and make lots of noise?
Katie Strang (3:02 PM)
To me, Boston is still the team to beat in the Eastern Conference. They've got it all -- good goaltending, great depth, physicality, strong leadership, etc.Have been impressed by Toronto recently as well. Carlyle has really instilled a distinct culture change with the team. Much more structured and defensively sound. Think they will be a real interesting club to watch
Why can't anyone beat the Blackhawks?
Katie Strang (3:04 PM)
Haha no kidding. You know that anecdote: success is like a martini, it relaxes you? That's what I feel is working well with the Hawks right now. Confidence has to be at an all-time high. They've got Corey Crawford, they continue to win and they do so even when they're not playing their best. That goes a long way in tight games and adverse situations.
Tim (Islip, N.Y.)
any information on the Islanders and the prospect of a trade in the near future of one of their aging defensemen? ex Vishnovsky/Streit
Katie Strang (3:05 PM)
I think the former would have more value than the latter, but it would be devastating to the Islanders' back end if they move one or both players. So, that means that the team has to be out of a playoff spot for GM Garth Snow to be willing to trade them away. Isles keep hanging around....
Greg (Property Law Class)
Katie,With the rangers scoring 2 PP goals in under a minute without Richards on the PP any chance he gets bumped off the PP or at least off the point?
Katie Strang (3:07 PM)
I think that was more a function of the team rallying around Richards than performing well without him. Further to that point, I thought they got some really good looks/movement on their first-period PP Sunday even though they didn't Cash in. Richards had all three shots on goal during that man-advantage I believe.
Hi Katie, if Kaleta isn't suspended can we assume Shanahan has declared open season on the Rangers given nothing was done in regards to Lucic's elbow on Nash and Pacioretty boarding on McDonagh? Plus, is it callous to note how the PP produced once Richards was off? I feel awful for that, glad he's ok.
Katie Strang (3:08 PM)
No chance he won't be suspended for at least a game. I don't even think that would be possible if it were not someone with the reputation of Patrick Kaleta, but since it is, I suspect that he'll get 3-5
Pien Xi (China)
Will Calgary Flames trade Jarome Iginla at deadline this season?
Katie Strang (3:10 PM)
This chat has gone international now...love it! Yes, I do believe he will be traded but it will be interesting to see if Flames GM Jay Feaster feels a little trigger-shy now after the Ryan O'Reilly debacle. He may want to lay low for a bit ... :)
JP (Babylon, NY)
How do you feel about the proposed realignment? Interesting that there would not be the same number of teams in each conference, seeing as how eight teams from each conference will qualify for the playoffs. Seems to put teams in the East at a disadvantage right off the bat. Thoughts? Comments?
Katie Strang (3:13 PM)
It's certainly not perfect and I understand that teams in the East will be upset at the mathematical disadvantage of making the playoffs. But, in order to lessen the travel burden on certain teams -- esp Detroit and Columbus -- not sure what else makes more sense? One thing I do know, the whole plan just begs for a few expansion teams to enter into the mix
Patrick Kaleta will be suspended for ____ games.
Katie Strang (3:14 PM)
Five, although I think the 6-8 range is more appropriate
Chris (Durham, NC)
Hello, when you look at all stats combined. Carolina's SST line is one of the best in the game and they also lead the NHL in +/-. They just bring a complete game to the table. With that being said, do you think that Semin will sign an extension with the Canes. It's almost as though he fits in perfectly with the team. He makes things happen on every shift. Do you think he will remain a Cane after the off season or is it going to depend on how deep the team goes in the playoffs(if they even get there)?
Katie Strang (3:16 PM)
Think it depends on what sort of production they get from him down the stretch this season and how easily he is able to shake the reputation that followed him from Washington. Teammates seemed to genuinely stick up for him last week in an attempt to shield him from all the Caps' vitriol. We'll see if that is the same tune come April. If I'm a Canes fan, I'm much more concerned with the injury to goaltender Cam Ward. Out 6 to 8 weeks with a knee injury. Huge blow
Katie- with all that happened to Rick DiPietro recently, I have read some extremely harsh personal attacks on him by fans- including that he is hated by both teammates & coaches and has been rude to fans, etc- can you shed any light on his teammates or coaches perception of him as a person/player?
Katie Strang (3:19 PM)
Goalies are wired a little different and he is no exception. Sometimes he can be gregarious and charming, other times he can be moody and standoff-ish. Think the biggest take-away we can gather from last week's drama is that perhaps we forget that athletes are people with feelings too. Earning a lot of money does not make them impervious to bad days or dark thoughts. Think we all need to be a bit more sensitive to that, myself included
Mike (Nashville (with hockey wife))
Katie,We're fed up here. Year after year after year the Predators stink on offense and this year is the worst of all. Now with Weber's pay check over this calendar year having a lot more zeroes, we're stuck with a bad offense and a bunch of excuses from management about how they "couldn't do a deal", right?
Katie Strang (3:23 PM)
Feel your pain, Mike, and I'm glad to see a husband and wife chiming in together! Couple that watches hockey together...Although many of us that don't see them night in and night out have a soft spot for them and what they try to do on a shoestring budget, I can only imagine how maddening it must be on a daily basis.Pekka Rinne has been outstanding -- he could win the Hart if they make the playoffs -- but he can't do it all. They have to generate more offense. Have dropped four of last five games and scored only twice in those losses. Maybe Bobby Butler can give them a boost
What will it take to change the culture for the Islanders from a losing team with talent to a winning team?
Katie Strang (3:24 PM)
Starts at the very top. Don't think they can truly restore credibility until ownership changes hands. That could be sooner than later, who knows
Hi Katie. How do you feel about Claude Julien whining after the Habs-Bruins game? Think there's anything to it, or is it just sour grapes after an emotional game?
Katie Strang (3:25 PM)
Much easier to make that argument after a win than a loss in my opinion because, yes, it did come across as sour grapes to me. You don't like what opponents are doing? Have your guys handle it on the ice, a la Chara, but whining after the game won't help
Pyrri Jorkkinen (Helsinki, Finland)
Surprised that Mr Bruce Boudreau has managed to turn Anaheim Ducks team around in such quickness?
Katie Strang (3:27 PM)
A lot of things have surprised me about Anaheim this season, particularly the rise of Viktor Fasth, but lots of people had the feeling Boudreau could find success with a change of scenery. Team has been a really fun one to follow this season and it should be interesting to see what happens with Getzlaf/Perry as the deadline approaches.
Bishopville Red (Bishopville)
Is Rick DiPietro finally done as a New York Islander? Some of Snow's comments don't make this an obvious push out the door.
Katie Strang (3:28 PM)
Not necessarily. Won't be surprised to see him kept around for his cap hit. That would be a mistake, in my opinion. Not productive in terms of growing the team and making it better and not in his best interest, either.
How is Ottawa staying afloat despite its injuries? It's magic, right?
Katie Strang (3:29 PM)
Two words. Paul Maclean. What a masterful job he has done. Really impressed. Both Craig Anderson (while uninjured) and Ben Bishop deserve accolades as well
Hey Katie, I've been at work all day and haven't caught up on my hockey news yet. Is there any word on discipline for Patrick Kaleta for his hit on Richards last night? Do you think he's earned a suspension for that hit?
Katie Strang (3:30 PM)
Hey Joe- Phone hearing with Sheriff Shanny scheduled for 3 p.m. today so it is either ongoing or recently wrapped up.
Jason (Southport, CT)
Katie, what are the chances of the Rangers moving Gaborik? What would they look for in return?
Katie Strang (3:32 PM)
I think they will definitely have some willing trade partners. Considering that they'll also be in the playoff mix, I'd say at least a top prospect, top draft pick and a player that can contribute NOW for Rangers
Dean (New York)
Does Shanahan tell the repeat offenders "Are you guys stupid or something?". We know Kaleta is stupid. Its the same guys.
Katie Strang (3:33 PM)
Believe Shanahan was on the Rangers team still back when Kaleta shattered Paulie Mara's orbital bone a few years back. Suffice it to say that it did not go over well in the NYR room when it happened, nor when Kaleta declined to answer the bell when Mara challenged him down the road. Just food for thought. Shanahan is well aware of Kaleta's reputation
Nick (Jersey Shore)
so are my Devils really this bad? they started the season off so good and have done nothing but lose lately
Katie Strang (3:34 PM)
Honestly, they were probably not nearly as good as when they were on top of the East, nor are they as bad as it seems now. Think they will battle for an 8 spot. Remember, they have also been without Brodeur
How can fans be so biased to say that Richards dove on that Kaleta cheap shot? Any idea on why only a phone hearing? If Kaleta was a player on my team I'd be angry with him for causing my team such trouble and would want him gone - how can someone defend a play like that? as a human being..
Katie Strang (3:35 PM)
Also think it's absurd to think Richards would dive. Has been in the league a long time and does not have that reputation. And as someone who has missed significant time with a concussion, it's laughable to think he'd want to risk paralyzing himself to earn his team a PP
DaveRob (Richmond Va)
Does Cam Ward's knee kill the Canes chances for a 2013 South East Crown and a deep run in the playoffs? Can Ellis be the guy?
Katie Strang (3:36 PM)
Honestly, the SE division is WIDE OPEN. Have no idea how it shakes out. Ward's injury a definite blow, but not insurmountable by any means
If the Avs had agreed to the offer sheet from the Flames for Ryan O'Reilly, do you think it would've been disastrous for Calgary?
Katie Strang (3:39 PM)
I think you mean had they chose not to match, and yes, it would have been a disaster. Although you can argue it already has been given the embarrassment the organization suffered by the remarkable oversight. Still think, however, that the Flames would have a decent chance at fighting the waiver stipulation. The fact that the fine print says "a" reserve list and does not specify which team's reserve list leaves some ambiguity.
Dara (Boca Raton, Fl)
Why is it that the Florida Panthers can't catch a break. They finally made the playoffs last season and this yr they are so injured its like a game! No versteeg, Jovo, Weaver, Upshall, Theodore, Bergenheim, and for a while Goc and Weiss were hurt! So frustrating
Katie Strang (3:41 PM)
Wanna know the most telling stat of a bad team? Goal differential. And the Panthers have the worst in the league with a minus-27. Have to imagine Dale Tallong starts to unload very soon
With the way JT Miller is playing what do you think the likely-hood of Chris Kreider working his way back into the lineup after his AHL stint is?
Katie Strang (3:43 PM)
They don't necessarily have to be mutually exclusive. DIfferent type of player. Definitely think Kreider will remain in AHL for awhile, but I still wouldn't rule out seeing him return down the road this season
Erik (Harrisburg, PA)
If you can't get me Kathryn Tappen's phone number, I'll take yours. Just sayin'.
Katie Strang (3:44 PM)
Wow, you are quite the charmer!
howard (new orleans)
Do you think the Rangers are happy with Nash's performance so far this season?
Katie Strang (3:45 PM)
Yes, absolutely. Even when he's not scoring, he's creating a lot with his size, speed and skill. He's a special player, as they suspected when they pulled off a blockbuster deal for him this summer. Changes the dynamic of their entire offense
I can't imagine a team - let alone a Cup contender - think about dealing talents like Perry and Getzlaf. This talk of trading one has to be chatter, right? What do you think is more likely, taking a Cup run and letting one walk, or somehow signing both?
Katie Strang (3:46 PM)
But, what about what happened with the New Jersey Devils and Zach Parise last season? Devils kept him but eventually lost him for nothing. You could argue that's bad asset management though I would suspect the Devils have no regret in keeping him with the club to make their run to the Cup Finals
Rob (San Antonio)
Malkin is cleared to play tonight but why should he? The Pens are in first so why rush him?
Katie Strang (3:47 PM)
Considerin what the team went through with Crosby, you'd think that rushing Malkin is not something the Penguins would even think about doing. If he's healthy, he should play. End of story
Max (South Carolina)
Do You think Montreal are for real, & do the Wild have what it takes to stay close in the playoff hunt
Katie Strang (3:49 PM)
Not sure about the Wild, although they are creeping their way back up in the Northwest, but like what is going on with Montreal. Good transition game and really impressed by young guys like Gallagher and Galchenyuk
Which player, in your opinion, has surprised you the most this season?
Katie Strang (3:51 PM)
Guess I'd say Viktor Fasth since I didn't even know who he was last season. Also glad to see Corey Crawford prove some critics wrong. Although that won't disappear completely until the Hawks roll through a team or two in the playoffs
Nick hardy (Philadelphia )
Is there going to be a big name traded before the deadline? For some reason I believe because of the shortened season and it seeming like more teams have a chance we won't.
Katie Strang (3:51 PM)
It definitely may make the market a bit harder to discern but yes, I do think we see either Jarome Iginla or Daniel Alfredsson traded. My money is on the former. Think Boston would be interested in either
Marc (Malden, MA)
During the CBA negotiations, did the NHLPA ever discuss the outright collusion that is Restricted Free Agency? I still go back to when Steven Stamkos was a RFA and NOBODY gave him an offer sheet. Really? Nobody wanted Stamkos? Really?
Katie Strang (3:52 PM)
Let's just say Devellano's comments in Detroit about the matter definitely raised some eyebrows
We're about halfway home during this sprint of a regular season. Has Crawford been the best goalie so far or does that still go to Craig Anderson?
Katie Strang (3:53 PM)
Also a very good season for Nashville's Pekka Rinne
Do you think Kaleta gets challenged by Richards or another NYR player when they play in Buffalo?
Katie Strang (3:54 PM)
Depends if Asham is back in the lineup.
Aaron (Long Island)
In your opinion, who is the best player in the tri state area right now?
Katie Strang (3:54 PM)
John Tavares. Hoo by, he has been sensational lately
Katie Strang (3:55 PM)
Ok all, thanks for all the awesome questions. Have a great rest of the week and join me next Monday!
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