James O'Brien

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

Video: Philadelphia Flyers pay heartfelt tribute to Ed Snider


News surfaced that Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider passed away at age 83 on April 11, and the tributes started pouring in.

As great as some of those memories were, it felt even more fitting to say goodbye during the thing he predicted: a 2016 playoff game in Philadelphia.

Fans, members of the organization and just about everyone in between paid tribute to Snider on Monday as the Flyers hosted the Washington Capitals at the Wells Fargo Center on Monday.

You can watch that touching tribute in video form above this post’s headline. There’s also this version if you prefer it that way:

Is it a mere coincidence that the Flyers scored about a minute into the game?

(It is currently 1-1 in the second period.)

WATCH LIVE: Tonight’s Stanley Cup playoff action


We’re now at that point where scenes are shifting with lower seeds hosting their first home contests of the playoffs, all Game 3 matches.

Here’s how to follow tonight’s trio of games:

Washington at Philadelphia (7:00 p.m. ET)

The TV broadcast of Game 3 will be on NBCSN. To stream the game using the NBC Sports Live Extra app, click here.

Dallas at Minnesota (8:30 p.m. ET)

The TV broadcast of Game 3 will be on CNBC. To stream the game using the NBC Sports Live Extra app, click here.

Los Angeles at San Jose (10:30 p.m. ET)

The TV broadcast of Game 3 will be on NBCSN. To stream the game using the NBC Sports Live Extra app, click here.

Need to catch up? No sweat:

The Sharks aren’t worried about their regular season struggles at home

Antoine Roussel scored the weirdest goal you’ll ever see

Devan Dubnyk wasn’t happy with the officials after Game 2

–‘It’s a crappy feeling’: Mason owns up to allowing ‘bad goal’ in Game 2

Blues convert on calls they did get, take 2-1 series lead vs. Blackhawks


Penalties (and officiating in general) were a huge point of emphasis after Game 2 and early in Game 3, so it’s strangely fitting that the St. Louis Blues took the contest after converting on a huge special teams opportunity.

Patrick Kane‘s high-stick left Alex Pietrangelo bleeding, so the Blues received a four-minute power play in the third period. Jaden Schwartz converted on a pretty passing play to make it 3-2, which stood as the final score as the Blues built a 2-1 series lead.

Boiling it down to that sequence doesn’t really do justice to a Game 3 that had more twists than a M. Night Shyamalan movie.

The first period could have been disastrous for the Blues after an opening sequence that included an iffy penalty that opened the door for a 1-0 Blackhawks lead and multiple infractions right out of the gate. Instead, the Blues fought through it and nailed their first man-advantage chance when Colton Parayko boomed home a shot to make it 1-1.

The middle frame could have been disastrous as well; the Blackhawks managed a ridiculous 24 shots on goal during a second period that was brimming with end-to-end action.

Both goalies were fantastic, however, and Chicago only entered the third period with a 2-1 lead.

St. Louis kept applying pressure until Patrik Berglund‘s shot took a funky bounce and beat Corey Crawford, setting the stage for Schwartz’s go-ahead goal.

Overall, the two teams combined for a dizzying 82 shots on goal (46 for Chicago, 36 for St. Louis). It felt that way, too, as it was arguably a classic game between a pair of bitter rivals.

The Blues showed remarkable resiliency to win, beating the Blackhawks in a way they haven’t lost very often:

These two teams keep trading big blows as if this was a prize fight. We’ll get to see how Chicago rolls with this latest punch when the series resumes with Game 4 on Tuesday.

And now, your “Moment of Zen.”

It didn’t take long for Blackhawks to, um, ‘get a call’ vs. Blues


Whether it was gamesmanship or true frustration, Ken Hitchcock was talking about not getting calls after Game 2. He was left stupefied by some early whistles in Game 3.

A scrum took place between the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks, yet it wasn’t an even takeaway. The Blackhawks ultimately received a power play opportunity, and they cashed in almost immediately.

It’s difficult to tell why the Blackhawks received a man advantage from that altercation, but you can judge for yourself in the video above.

This Brent Seabrook goal was something else, and certainly feeds into various storylines:

Jay Bouwmeester followed that frustration up by taking consecutive penalties: one for a “can-opener” maneuver and another for touching the puck as he left the penalty box.

Those two calls on Bouwmeester might have been accurate in a vacuum, yet they likely only made the Blues and their fans feel more frustrated.

Long story short, there’s plenty of drama early on. It will be interesting to see how this game goes after the Blues survived a trying start.

Update: Fittingly, the Blues scored a power-play goal mere moments into their first chance.

Remarkable return: Steve Ott suits up for the Blues


If the St. Louis Blues need inspiration, how about the unlikely return of a character guy?

Steve Ott is suiting up against considerable odds as the Blues take on the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 3, which is mere moments from beginning.

Ott hasn’t played since Dec. 5, and there was at least some reason to wonder if he’d ever play again. Instead, he’s getting back in the mix as the Blues attempt to shake off a painful loss.

Impressive, although it’s unlikely that the Blackhawks will merely allow Ott to ease back in.