Chat with Katie Strang
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, hockey writer Katie Strang stops by to chat about the latest news from around ice, including the semifinals of the Olympic tournament.
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 Thursday at 1 p.m. ET!
Katie Strang (1:00 PM)
Hey hockey fans! Hope you are enjoying a fantastic USA-CAN gold-medal game right now. Let's get to some questions. Fire away!
Isles Fans Everywhere (Long Island)
Katie Strang (1:02 PM)
Oh man, a tough, tough break for Team Canada, John Tavares and Isles fans everywhere as they heard the news this morning that the star center is done for the season. Things were already looking grim for the Isles and this makes the situation far worse. Expect the Isles to further plummet down the standings and GM Garth Snow to identify himself as a clear seller. He'll be trying to move pending UFAs Thomas Vanek and Andrew MacDonald aggressively leading up to the trade deadline
Why was Finland over Russia seen as such an upset?
Katie Strang (1:04 PM)
Technically, it wasn't since Finland was the No. 4 seed and Russia was ranked fifth, but with the Russians on home ice many expected them to medal. It was terribly impressive though to see the Finns prevail without their top four centers. I know that CAN-USA is the hot ticket tomorrow, but I can't wait to see SWE-FIN either. Will be a great game
Hi Katie, Russian coach really threw Ovi under the bus in his comments after team was eliminated for lack of scoring. Named Ovi specifically in Itar Tass newspaper. Do you think that is fair or is it more an issue of the system or lack there of? Pierre seemed to think over use of KHL players bore a lot of blame.
Katie Strang (1:07 PM)
Sounds like there were a lot of issues, but I think Pierre is onto something here. There was a fair amount of criticism for the mixed lineup and even more scrutiny devoted to the way the coach dished out ice time, spurning proven NHL'ers in some cases. Clearly, that didn't work and you have to wonder if there was some discord among the Russians on that front. Also suspect to use Varlamov instead of Bobrovsky in goal for that last game as well. Ovechkin didn't play particularly well and Malkin wasn't exactly a force, either. Datsyuk came through but you can place at least some blame on the stars that were underwhelming.
Eric (Los Angeles)
If your team picks for the medals fall through, will you be eaten alive? Or remain Living?Best interview ever?
Katie Strang (1:08 PM)
Did that interview actually happen? Or am I dreaming?
Eric (Los Angeles)
Why doesn't the womens hockey get more respect?Early on I watched the, Japan vs Russia, and it was a very good game... The backstory of the Japanese women was great, and when they scored that goal... best goal celebration ever! It showed a beautiful side of the sport, not often seen through the checking, blood and fighting that most people assume is Hockey. It just seems a little misrepresented of the sport (and the NHL) to only shine the light on the men, when there are so many good women players (as everyone should be seeing in today?s USA vs Canada game), so should the NHL, openly support the women more? And why doesn?t the NHL even start a small womens hockey league to spread the sport (like the WNBA)?
Katie Strang (1:10 PM)
Now to a more serious question of yours, Eric. It's a shame that women's hockey does not get more respect, because it is fantastic and entertaining. I do think the game could benefit from allowing body-checking and I still find it completely absurd that it's currently prohibited. Why? These women are tough. Contact is not going to be a problem for them.
Hi Katie, excited to have the NHL weekly chats back! The Olympics have been so exciting to watch but the injuries aren't great. Figures with the luck of the Panthers, our 2 representatives would be injured and lost for extended periods of time. Do you think the Panthers keep Brad Boyes? He has been such a great addition to the team this year and I would love for him to stay.
Katie Strang (1:12 PM)
Hey Dara- love having you back and sorry for the tough loss re: Barkov :( I actually think Boyes would be a good guy for Tallon to keep. He's cost-effective and seems to have found a good fit there. Dale Tallon can't get rid of everyone. Helpful to retain a few veterans even in the event of a fire sale
Gloria Allred (The Pulpit)
Katie, what are you doing having a chat right in the middle of the women's gold medal game? Do you have no interest at all? That is sexist. Women's sports deserve the same attention as men's.
Katie Strang (1:12 PM)
I'm watching, trust me. Women are great multi-taskers ;)
Elaine (Washington DC)
When a player gets injured in the Olympics and has to miss time in the NHL, is the NHL still on the hook for paying their salary while they are out?
Katie Strang (1:14 PM)
Yes, I believe so, though that is an excellent question Elaine. Do not believe there is any special provision in the SPC (standard player contract) that covers injury during Olympics. You can certainly understand why owners aren't crazy about participation. After all, it is their extremely valuable assets exposing themselves to risk with absolutely no financial gain in return
Katie Strang (1:15 PM)
U-S-A! U-S-A! 1-0 after Meghan Duggan's shot from the left circle beats a screened Zabados
Aaron (Long Island)
thoughts on the report coming out that Vanek, Grabner and teammates were out until 6 am after their win?
Katie Strang (1:17 PM)
And apparently they have admitted to it, issuing an apology via letter. Wow, that's crazy. If true, really disappointing and I can't blame the coach for being incensed.
What do you think the chances are the hawks try and get vanek?
Katie Strang (1:18 PM)
Unless they are sending a player with a significant salary back in the deal, very little. Very little cap space
Ed (Queens Village)
What are your predictions to medal this weekend?
Katie Strang (1:20 PM)
I think I originally picked:SwedenCanadaUSthough I would now like to switch toUSFinlandCanada
Erik Bruckner (Pittsburgh, PA)
What's one name that nobody is talking about that could be on the move?
Katie Strang (1:22 PM)
I'd keep an eye on Marek Zidlicky, who had a good tournament for the Czechs. He still concerns me from a durability standpoint, but he could provide a team with some offensive ability and veteran experience on the back end
Adam (New York)
What Team USA have to do to beat Canada tommorrow
Katie Strang (1:24 PM)
Keep playing like they have been. US seems to be the team that continues to get better every game. Balanced scoring, strong goaltending and special teams, an improved transition game. Confidence seems high for the Americans right now, as it should be.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What are your Favorite Events in the Winter Olympics at Sochi, Russia?
Katie Strang (1:25 PM)
Hockey and figure skating. Speaking of the latter, Tara Lipinsky and Johnny Weir have been so awesome in Sochi. So much sass and style. Great chemistry between the two of them and their commentating is so entertaining AND educational. I love them
bob nj [via mobile]
hi katie do u see the rangers trading callahan at the deadline and how long is zucarello out for?
Katie Strang (1:27 PM)
No, I don't. That's a gut feeling, but I think they stand pat with him and risk losing him as a UFA for nothing. Still waiting to hear on Zuccarello, who is being evaluated in NY today
If Zetterberg is out for the year too, whose injuy is more of a blow to their team, him or Tavares?
Katie Strang (1:30 PM)
Well, I guess that depends: do the Red Wings make the playoffs or does the streak ends? Isles were already pretty much out of the playoffs. Not so for the Wings. Both injuries are pretty wretched. Really disappointed about that for both players
Hey Katie.... I am getting very confused on why the NHL doesn't want to send its players to future Olympics on al reasons except the money issue.... Hw can the NHL and it's owners argue injuries as a reason they don't want to send their players to the games yet are trying to bring back the World Cup, which can easily injure their players right before the season starts during a "meaningless" tournament??? Can they just come clean and admit it is one pure reason, money?? And the owners are still getting 41 home games to make profits from, just there February numbers are low, so I don't get it one bit
Katie Strang (1:31 PM)
Of course it is about money. NHL owners see these players as assets, and this case is no different
Chris (R.U. Grease Trucks, NJ)
Hi Katie! Who do you like in Sweden vs Finland tomorrow? I say Sweden, but Finland is very dangerous. Thoughts?
Katie Strang (1:32 PM)
I'd love to see a Finland upset. They are such a hard-working, structured team.
How strongly does the Tavares injury impact team Canada?
Katie Strang (1:34 PM)
Doesn't sound like much. Duchene will now draw back into the lineup, playing his natural position, between Rick Nash and Patrick Sharp. Tavares wasn't tearing things up when he sustained the injury. No goals and averaging just a bit above 10 minutes per game. CAN has no shortage of forward depth. The loss is not even close to the void his absence will create for the Islanders
ted (cape cod)
How's the food over there in Sochi?
Katie Strang (1:35 PM)
I'm actually back home in Michigan, but the food is good here. Just had homemade carrot-ginger soup :)
We are constantly told Crosby is the best player in the world, but his performance in this Olympics thus far has been ordinary Why isn't he getting the same criticism from media that Ovechkin was receiving even prior to Russia's loss to Finland?
Katie Strang (1:37 PM)
The best players step up on the biggest stage and let's not forget what happened four years ago. Crosby delivered, scoring the gold-medal winning goal in OT vs. the USA
Torn knee ligaments are fairly common in NBA, NFL...can you let us know some top NHL stars who have fully recovered from similar injuries to JT?
Katie Strang (1:39 PM)
The MCL is actually not that concerning. Doesn't even necessarily require surgery, to my understanding. But combine that with the meniscus, and he'll probably need to go under the knife. Regardless, I expect Tavares will be good to go for training camp in September
Aaron (Long Island)
best personal story out of Sochi?
Katie Strang (1:40 PM)
Great to see TJ Oshie get some well-deserved recognition. Loved Mao Asada's free skate performance today...great bounce-back effort following the short program disaster. Also, Jason Brown has been a blast to watch.
Ghosts of 1983 (Long Island)
The Islanders' bad luck is only compounded by their bungling front office. Why is anyone surprised?
Katie Strang (1:43 PM)
And can you imagine if Snow retains the 2014 first-rounder and the Islanders bomb next season? If Snow sacrifices a high 2015 pick during Connor McDavid's draft year...hoo boy
Phil Kessel's sister, she's been making a name for herself. She single? I'd love it if my kids had her athletic genes.
Katie Strang (1:44 PM)
I support this pursuit, Eric. She is indeed a stud
It would probably help the women's game if a semifinal contest didn't have a 70-9 shot disparity, no? Isn't much of the issue simply that, on the whole, the U.S. and Canada are just too far ahead of the competition?
Katie Strang (1:46 PM)
Yes, Shane you are absolutely right. That's a big part of the lack of recognition. There is such an astronomical difference between the top two and everyone else.
Katie Strang (1:47 PM)
Ok all, we'll end it there today. Craig Custance will be chatting at 2 p.m. Watch this Yuna Kim performance and then return to keep my fellow Spartan alum some company.Cheers! And go USA!