James O'Brien

I am a contributing editor/writer/troublemaker for NBC's Pro Hockey Talk blog.

Should Blues have challenged Wingels’ 1-0 goal for Sharks?


Offside goal reviews aren’t dominating the headlines like they did during the first round, but that doesn’t mean that teams aren’t keeping an eye out for possibilities.

More than a few people wonder if the St. Louis Blues made a mistake in not challenging Tommy Wingels‘ early goal, which gave the San Jose Sharks a 1-0 lead.

You can watch video of the goal above.

Stephanie “My Regular Face” isolates the zone entry:

The risk/reward proposition is obvious. Perhaps the goal coming so early made Ken Hitchcock trigger-shy when it comes to possibly losing his timeout?

WATCH LIVE: San Jose Sharks at St. Louis Blues – Game 2


The Stanley Cup playoffs continue on Tuesday night, as the San Jose Sharks look to even up their series against the St. Louis Blues. You’ll be able to catch the game on the NBC Sports Group’s television and digital platforms.

San Jose at St. Louis (8:00 p.m. ET)

The television broadcast of Game 2 will be on NBCSN. To stream the game using the NBC Sports Live Extra app, click here.

Here’s some related reading material to get you ready for tonight’s game:

Sharks coach Peter DeBoer thought his team lost Game 1 in the second period

DeBoer says refs need to call the game ‘accordingly’; Hitchcock says Blues ‘won’t whine for calls’

Brian Elliott was the Blues’ best player in Game 1

Lehtera’s knuckler stands as the game-winner in Game 1

Kevin Stevens pleads not guilty to charges related to painkillers


Former NHL forward Kevin Stevens pleaded not guilty to two federal drug charges (conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute oxycodone), according to the New York Daily News and the Boston Globe.

The actual arrest happened on Thursday, which you can read about in further detail here.

Also, the Boston Globe expands on the situation:

Stevens, arrested last Thursday and charged with possessing oxycodone and the intent to distribute, had his federal case continued to June 21 in what will be an initial status conference before Magistrate Judge Judith G. Dein, who also presided over Tuesday’s detention hearing.

Stevens was not required to post bail, but agreed to a series of other conditions, including not to gamble or visit a casino. He also agreed to participate in a court-approved mental health program and undergo a substance abuse evaluation.

Stevens, 51, played 15 seasons in the NHL, most notably winning two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins. His attorney says that the former power forward has been struggling with substance abuse issues for two decades.


Crosby gets last laugh vs. Vasilevskiy, Penguins tie series with Lightning


You almost got the feeling that Andrei Vasilevskiy would will the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 2-0 series lead.

The young Lightning goalie was fantastic on Monday, stopping 38 shots, including a great Sidney Crosby chance.

Instead, Crosby scored early in overtime to give the Pittsburgh Penguins the 3-2 (OT) Game 2 victory, and now this thrilling Eastern Conference Final is tied 1-1.

Some might quibble about what happened before Crosby connected on a Bryan Rust setup, as Tyler Johnson might have been interfered with before the game-winner formulated.

It was an interesting contest overall. The Penguins raced out to a 2-0 lead, yet the Lightning wouldn’t go away, tying the contest up 2-2 heading into the first intermission.

Despite Pittsburgh generating a hail of chances in the third period in particular, the score remained 2-2 through regulation. Vasilevskiy was brilliant while Matt Murray shook off the occasional shaky moment to give both teams quality goaltending for much of Game 2.

This was an up-and-down return to action for Anton Stralman. On one hand, he scored the 2-2 goal to redeem an early mistake. On the other, some may assign some blame to Stralman for some crucial mistakes.

Mike Sullivan mixed up lines with Crosby occasionally pairing up with Evgeni Malkin, yet Crosby seemed particularly dangerous as the game went on. He was finally rewarded with that OT-winner.

Let’s be honest; the Penguins needed this one a lot more than the Lightning. Now the series shifts back to Tampa Bay for Game 3, where we’re certain to see more twists and turns.

Video: Andrei Vasilevskiy makes astounding save on Sidney Crosby


Tampa Bay Lightning fans might be sad to see Ben Bishop out of the lineup – at least for now – but they’d be foolish to feel disappointed about the way Andrei Vasilevskiy has been playing.

The highlight of Game 2 so far might just be his save against frustrated Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby. It was a great attempt by Crosby, yet Vasilevskiy somehow pulled off the stop.

You can watch video of that impeccable play in the video above this post’s headline. Also, here’s a GIF of that moment:

Also, an alternate angle:

Vasilevskiy has enjoyed some other nice moments, including this big stop on Chris Kunitz that provided clear evidence that the young goalie wasn’t sleepwalking into the contest:

Matt Murray allowed a couple goals during the first period that had people talking about Marc-Andre Fleury, but maybe this save will boost his confidence (and his coach’s confidence in him?):