Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang opened up in a recent Instagram question and answer session.
I hope everyone is staying at home and is self-quarantining. I miss hockey but there are much bigger things at play right now. Last night, Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang asked his followers to send him questions on Instagram.
Here are some of the questions followed up with Letang’s answers and my takes.
Whose got the best style on the team?
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Letang: That’s easy. Myself.
My take: I agree with this.
Favorite city to play in? Besides Pittsburgh of course
Letang: “Back home in Montreal. [Madison Square Garden] close second”
My take: These barns seem to popular picks amongst NHL players. According to the NHLPA player poll, 31.75% of NHL players feel that Bell Centre in Montreal has the best ice in the NHL. By all accounts, the atmosphere there is something to see for any hockey fan. MSG is the most famous arena in the country, so that is understandable.
Bell Centre, MSG, and T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas appear to be great atmospheres.
Who is the best player from Sweden?
Letang: Nicklas Lidstrom.
My take: This is an excellent answer. With 1,142 career points, Lidstrom is sixth all-time amongst NHL defenders in points. Mats Sundin and Daniel Alfredsson are the only Swedish born NHLers with more points than Lidstrom.
From 2007-09, Lidstrom helped the Red Wings generate 59% of the shot attempts, 57% of the scoring chances, and the Red Wings scored 64% of goals during 5on5 play. Just absurd numbers. All of that is per Natural Stat Trick.
What is your favorite pre-game meal?
Letang: “Salmon and vegetables.”
My take: I am not a fan of salmon, but it is working well for Letang.
Through the years, what is your favorite Penguins team you played on?
Letang: So many great teams but I would say our 2016. And also in 2009.
My take: The 2016 team was my favorite as well. After Mike Sullivan took over, they were dominant from a possession standpoint and consistently outplayed all of their opponents. Letang ended up scoring the Stanley Cup-clinching goal in Game 6 against the Sharks.
Funniest Penguin player?
Letang: Brandon Tanev
My take: Basing off of Tanev’s daily Instagram stories of Kramer from Seinfeld, I will take Letang’s word here.
Top 5 players in the league at this moment?
Letang: Sid, Malkin, MacKinnon, McDavid, Kane
My take: Hard to argue with these.
Favorite song right now?
Letang: “Everything I Wanted” by Billie Eilish
My take: I am not the biggest fan of Eilish’s songs but this song is a banger.
Favorite player growing up?
Letang: Pavel Bure
My take: Bure possessed blazing speed and that enabled him to frequently got behind opponents.
If you could be stuck with one teammate, who would it be and why?
Letang: Sidney Crosby. First, we get along really well but from my experience, he has the best sense of survival of all the people I know.
My take: I would pick Hornqvist here. His determination and relentlessness would help us get through these boring times.
What is your second favorite sport?
Letang: Obviously hockey is one but formula 1 is next.
My take: Hockey is first but I enjoy following the USATF team because I ran track in high school.
Top 5 places to go out to eat in Pittsburgh
- Poulet Bleu (farmhouse-style eatery)
- Tako (unique flavors of Asian-Mexican fusion)
- Butcher and the Rye (drinks & fine foods that pay homage to rustic Americana)
- Fish Nor Owl (Contemporary American fare crafted with thoughtful ingredients from around the globe)
- Meat & Potatoes (Pittsburgh’s first gastropub, featuring simple & approachable American comfort food)
My take: I have been to Tako and Meat & Potatoes. They are both excellent. If you are looking for a quality meal, I highly recommend them both.
Letang: The Wolf of Wall Street
My take: Anything with Leonardo Dicaprio is great theatre.
Favorite vacation spot?
Letang: Amalfi Coast, Italy
My take: This is a popular vacation spot. It is absolutely gorgeous and is on my bucket list.
Who is your favorite Pittsburgh Steelers player?
Letang: Ryan Shazier
My take: I will go with Minkah Fitzpatrick here. He appears to be the defensive ballhawk that the Steelers have lacked since Troy Polamalu.
Best flow in the league?
Letang: Erik Karlsson
My take: Karlsson carries himself with a unique swagger. His flow has been elite for quite some time.
Hardest player to play against?
Letang: Pavel Datsyuk
My take: I agree with this 100%. Many of Datsyuk’s numbers are top of the charts. The Evolving Hockey brothers strongly feel that he is one of the best NHL skaters to ever play.
Best hockey player of all time?
Letang: Mario Lemieux. No doubt
My take: Mario is the best. He just went right through people and teams. Injuries and cancer robbed a portion of his career, but he is undoubtedly the most skilled player to ever lace up the skates.
Favorite memory of The Igloo?
Letang: Game 4 2009 against Detroit.
My take: This was the game that changed this series. Jordan Staal’s short-handed goal was huge. Here are some of the highlights from that game
Favorite game you played in?
Letang: Game 6 vs Washington in 2016. Crazy finish!
My take: This game was a rollercoaster of emotions. Relive the three straight delay of game penalties here:
Favorite outdoor game you played in?
Letang: The best one was against Buffalo. No visor either.
My take: I agree with this. The snow and scene were terrific. I remember seeing shirtless fans in freezing temperatures as I was watching this game. It was the NHL’s first Winter Classic and Crosby’s game-winner in the shootout was memorable. Here are the highlights from that tilt
What is your favorite wine?
Letang: Masseto Red
My take: Dark wine is better than white wine.
If you wanted to play a game in any international city besides the USA and Canada where would it be?
My take: I would choose an outdoor game in Fiji.
Favorite binge-worthy show?
My take: I have not heard of this show, but will likely check it out because of the quarantining.
Pancakes or waffles?
My take: If you asked me this three years ago, my answer would have been pancakes. I prefer waffles nowadays.
What is your golf game like? Who is the best player on the team?
Letang: “My golf game is not that great. Justin Schultz.”
My take: My golf game is not that great either, Kris.
Which teammates past or present would you trust to babysit your kids?
Letang: Patric Hornqvist. “He’s got experience already and I think with all the energy he has he will keep them entertained.”
My take: I would go with Evgeni Malkin. Geno is a fascinating man and appears to have some hilarious hobbies.
Letang: Glacier Cherry.
My take: This is an underrated selection. Glacier Cherry cracks my top 10 but Cool Blue has my top spot.
Favorite actor of all time?
Letang: Jim Carrey and Leonardo Di Caprio
My take: Arnold Schwarzenegger is a badass.
In other news, Evgeni Malkin and his wife Anna Kasterova took part in the flip the switch challenge. The video is posted on Kasterova’s official Instagram account and is quite comical. Here is the end result.
Earlier today, Patrick Marleau‘s three sons jumped on Zoom to meet with media members
Let’s continue to flatten this curve. Hopefully, hockey is back soon. Thanks for reading!