James O'Brien

Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Rangers - Game One

WATCH LIVE: Rangers at Lightning, Game 3 of Eastern Conference Final

After a “vomit-worthy” performance in Game 1, the Tampa Bay Lightning tied up their series with the New York Rangers on Monday. Now they host the first of two games in their building, and we might get a better idea of whether this will be a long series or a relatively short one.

That’s especially relevant after last night’s events. Every indication is that the Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks are going to take a big chunk out of each other out West, so that adds some incentive to these two East teams to make their series snappy.

Whatever the case may be, you can watch Game 3 on NBCSN and also stream it via NBC Sports Live Extra.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

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    Brodeur signs three-year deal to be Blues’ assistant GM

    Martin Brodeur
    12 Comments

    The St. Louis Blues are at a crossroads as an organization, but one thing seems to be clear: Martin Brodeur is rising up their executive ranks. The team signed him to a three-year contract to be their assistant general manager on Wednesday.

    After playing a few regular season games with the Blues in 2014-15, Brodeur moved into a role as a “special adviser” during that same campaign. The 43-year-old told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that such a job merely made him want more.

    “I really enjoyed it, but we had a conversation that I’d like to do more,” Brodeur said. “I want to learn as much as possible. I think it was a great opportunity for me to be around the team advising. But now after doing that for six months, I’d like to do a little more.”

    It looks like his wish has been granted, and one assumes he’ll have at least some say in a key offseason for the franchise. Will they stick with head coach Ken Hitchcock? Should the Blues trade any core members to shake things up? Brodeur won’t be the one to make final decisions, yet he could whisper in GM Doug Armstrong’s ear on plenty of matters.

    Trade or stay? Devils’ Elias seems fine either way

    Patrik Elias
    5 Comments

    Patrik Elias admits that his career might be winding down, yet he told the Bergen Record that he’s comfortable with the idea of being traded away from the only team he knows … or not.

    The 39-year-old said he wasn’t sure what new New Jersey Devils GM Ray Shero has planned for him, yet he seems OK with either scenario.

    “Honestly, if he wants to change things around and this is not a place for me anymore, it’s OK,” Elias said. “It happens. And if he wants to keep me around and still be a part of the team, then I’ll be more than happy.”

    Of course, that doesn’t mean that the veteran would waive his no-trade clause for just any destination. Perhaps he wouldn’t be as easy going if Shero asked him to accept a move to a basement team in an unforgiving climate?

    That’s something the two will likely need to discuss going forward,  but it sounds like the Czech winger would at least be open-minded about a deal. The 2014-15 season was rough for him (34 points is a career-low, unless you count sparse appearances in 1995-96 and 1996-97), even with the token All-Star nod, so perhaps he’s more interested in going out on a high note than getting everything his way?

    Caps GM shares position that tops his UFA shopping list

    Nicklas Backstrom, Alex Ovechkin
    31 Comments

    Washington Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan already made some interesting comments about free agents who might leave town, but what about players who might join the fold?

    The still-fairly-new-GM shared some interesting thoughts on the development of forwards such as Tom Wilson (he’s hoping to see the brutish winger become a top-six guy some day) and Andre Burakovsky, yet the position that tops his free-agent shopping list is awfully interesting. As he told the Washington Post’s Alex Prewitt, the Capitals are hoping to sign a first-line right wing.

    Capitals fans are all-too-familiar with a revolving cast of linemates for the dynamic duo of Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin. It’s actually been a theme even before the Capitals changed their management combo.

    Sometimes, the Capitals have rolled with a power forward-type such as Joel Ward or Wilson. Other times, a “finesse” player would compliment them, such as Burakovsky or Marcus Johansson. (These “With or Without You” stats show how erratic things got for Ovechkin + Backstrom.)

    Naturally, there are plenty of questions that arise, including “are you sure there’s even a suitable right win out there?” As you can see from this list, the choices fall off fast after Justin Williams and Martin St. Louis, two players who could conceivably stick with their current teams.

    Still, plenty of things can change, and you can’t blame MacLellan for pointing out an obvious hope.

    Speaking of hoping, Japers’ Rink did an amusing job of cobbling together Prewitt’s findings into what would seem to be MacLellan’s ideal top-six scenario:

    Oh man, Dude Not On Roster can play.

    Babcock decision looms: ‘I’ve talked to all the teams I’m talking to’

    Detroit Red Wings v Philadelphia Flyers
    37 Comments

    Plenty of teams have been said to show some interest in Mike Babcock, even if it sounds like it may come down to the Buffalo Sabres or Detroit Red Wings. Whatever the case may be, it sounds like #BabWatch won’t last a whole lot longer.

    If nothing else, the lauded head coach told MLive.com that he’s close to making a decision, and his interviewing process is finished.

    “Just going to re-visit everything one more time (with Red Wings GM Ken Holland),” Babcock said on Monday. “I’ve talked to all the teams I’m talking to.”

    He noted that he expects to sit down with his family tonight and that he’ll probably announce his choice on Wednesday. Of course, with the nature of hockey news and these sensitive choices, it’s possible something will come up sooner (or perhaps even later).

    Let’s hope for the former, because the scuttlebutt can get wild in times like these. Also, this Photoshop might be seared into a brain or two: