Steve Lepore of Puck The Media reports that the Chicago Blackhawks' first Stanley Cup since 1961 may have produced the NHL's best ratings in 37 years.
Game #6 between the Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers, won by Chicago on a bizarre Overtime goal by Patrick Kane(notes), scored a hockey-massive 5.7/10 overnight rating, likely making it the highest rated National Hockey League game in 37 years, breaking a mark that last year's Penguins/Red Wings Game 7 set.
This is perhaps the highest-rated game on record, and the first time I've ever seen a 10-share associated with an NHL game.
The game peaked from 11-11:30PM with a terrific 7.1/13. The game finished in 2nd place overall in the ratings from 8-10PM, while the lowest rated half-hour was 8PM again, with a 4.3/8, topping almost every half-hour of Game 1. The game averaged a 6.6/11 in the 10PM hour, winning that particular timeslot, before coming up with the huge 7.1 rating after 11PM. The telecast ended at 11:30 PM. The game scored a total 5.5/9 in primetime.
Again, we've seen these numbers fluctuate in the final tallies, so grain of salt until official.
1. Chicago 32.8/50
2. Philadelphia 26.8/38
3. Buffalo 13.5/20
4. Pittsburgh 9.7/14
T5. Detroit 6.3/10
T5. Indianapolis 6.3/10
Big numbers in Detroit and Pittsburgh: Rivalry plus Hossa equals ratings? And that 50 share is just incredible in Chicago. Maybe even a few minorities watched!
Also mindboggling: How the most important goal of the postseason turned out to be perhaps the most confusing, anticlimactic goal of the entire season. Coming up, how NBC and CBC called the Patrick Kane OT winner.
When Patrick Kane scored to end Game 6, I was standing in line at a metal gate with other media, waiting to head out on the ice for interviews with the players when the game finished.
Kane's goal might be the first in playoff history to create what can only be called a deafening absence of sound. It was like a black hole opened up in the middle of Wachovia Center, sucking up voices and gasps and emotions.
For a few seconds, we heard nothing. Then came a Chicago TV reporter screaming "IT'S IN, IT'S IN!", which sparked a celebration among all the Chicago TV reporters, with hugs and cheers and even a tear or two. Because their local TV reporters, and that's what they do.
The same level of confusion could be seen and heard on the national broadcasts on CBC and NBC. Lepore was asking earlier today which announcing team handled the awkward finish better; first up is Jim Hughson of CBC Sports:
"Where's the puck?" will probably not be joining "Do You Believe in Miracles?" any time soon.
Here's Mike Emrick on NBC:
"What chaos!" was a nice touch. The rest of it was the cluster[expletive] to end all cluster[expletives]. Sure, it's a confusing end; but CBC assumed victory while NBC was waiting for refs and red lights as the Blackhawks were mobbing Kane. Should have gone to the script at that point, in hindsight.