James O'Brien

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

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


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.


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


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


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:

Hitchcock: Blues ‘are fortunate’ series vs. Sharks is 1-1

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This time, the St. Louis Blues didn’t get away with playing an uninspired home game against the San Jose Sharks.

That seems to be the takeaway from Ken Hitchcock after watching the Sharks beat his Blues 4-0 in Game 2 to tie the series 1-1.

“We seem to want to play a little different at home than we do on the road,” Hitchcock said. “We got away with it in Game 1 and didn’t get away with it today at all. They were much better than us probably in every aspect, especially on special teams.”

Hitchcock noted that the Blues “don’t have the foot-speed of other teams” and didn’t feel great about the way St. Louis managed the puck.

He believes they can “clean up” issues on the PK and, in general, “catch up.”

On the other end, Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer bragged about a strength that might be on San Jose’s side rather than on the side of the Blues.