James O'Brien

I am a contributing editor/writer/troublemaker for NBC's Pro Hockey Talk blog.
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Video: NHL shares first episode of Showtime’s playoff coverage

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Have you ever watched an episode of the 24/7-style series of hockey documentaries – on HBO, Epix or otherwise – and thought, “How cool would it be if they did this for the playoffs.”

Well, the NHL is doing just that for the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

In this case, it’s partnering with Showtime. The league shared the first episode of “ALL ACCESS: Quest for the Stanley Cup.” Enjoy it in the video below and feel free to get pumped for the remaining games, including Saturday’s Game 4 contest between the San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues.

WATCH LIVE: Semifinals for Worlds – Finland vs. Russia; U.S. vs. Canada

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The San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues don’t represent the only great hockey option for fans on Saturday.

There are two semifinal matchups in the worlds today, including something that never gets old: the United States vs. Canada.

At the moment, you can stream Finland vs. Russia, featuring Alex Ovechkin.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Meanwhile, Canada vs. United States coverage is set to stream at 1:00 pm ET.

Here’s the link.

Here’s your Stanley Cup playoffs schedule for tonight

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San Jose built a 2-1 series edge over St. Louis in the Western Conference Final, blanking the Blues in an impressive display. Can St. Louis respond to the Sharks’ bites or will they find themselves in a dire situation? You can find out on the NBC Sports Group’s television and digital platforms.

St. Louis at San Jose (7:15 p.m. ET)

The television broadcast of Game 4 will be on NBC. To stream the contest using the NBC Sports Live Extra app, click here.

Enjoy these freshly grilled links:

Vladimir Tarasenko is learning “tough lessons” and is also a new dad.

Joe Thornton remarks that playing with Joe Pavelski and Tomas Hertl is “an easy job.”

– The Blues are turning to Jake Allen in net.

Logan Couture believes that the Sharks have been “under-appreciated all season.”

Just for Men: Vlad (The Dad) Tarasenko

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The 2016 Western Conference Final shows the sometimes-drastic gulf between the heavily bearded and the lightly bearded.

Brent Burns, Joe Thornton and the San Jose Sharks highlight the hairiest portion, while St. Louis Blues sniper Vladimir Tarasenko represents the other end of the spectrum.

(Bask in Burns’ bearded glory here.)

Tarasenko shows that facial hair isn’t the only measure of a man, as glorious as those Sharks look in their face-sweaters. Tarsenko has been an absolute beast at times during the 2016 postseason, and if that wasn’t enough, he even became a father.

We kind of need to call him “Vlad the Dad” from now on, don’t we?

PHT Morning Skate: Son does play-by-play for blind father

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

On the Tampa Bay Lightning’s focus on puck possession. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

Cool stuff for us NERDS

Looks like everything went smoothly for Claude Giroux and Shayne Gostisbehere:

That video above is fantastic. Watch it.

Good for a laugh:

Always sucks getting stuck to that loud tattoo'd guy at the airport gate.

A post shared by James Duthie (@tsnduthie) on

Offer sheets are rare, but imaginary ones to fill time during the slow hockey summer? Those are probably pretty common, so here’s some details for your armchair general managing: