Game 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs Wednesday had its highest overnight rating in 12 years.
That’s obviously good for the NHL, but when the numbers are broken down, it’s even better for Hartford.
The Vancouver Canucks‘ 1-0 victory over the Boston Bruins on Raffi Torres‘ goal with only 18.5 seconds left generated a 3.2 overnight rating and 6 share, an increase of 14 percent compared to Game 1 last year between Philadelphia and Chicago (2.8/6). It was the best overnight for a Game 1 since 1999, when Buffalo against Dallas drew a 3.7 on Fox.
Not surprisingly, Boston was the top-rated market with a 25.5/39, the highest-rated NHL game in Boston dating to at least 1995 and topping the Boston rating for last year’s NBA Finals Game 1 featuring the Celtics and archrival Los Angeles Lakers (19.1/34). Munch on that number you basketball fans.
But the cities following Boston proved most interesting as two of the next three were AHL cities: No. 2 Providence (16.7/24) and No. 4 HARTFORD (5.5/8) surrounding Buffalo (7.2/11). No. 5 was Pittsburgh (4.3/7).
Yes, that Hartford, the capital of Connecticut. Maybe NHL commissioner Gary Bettman will finally have the decency to admit there’s an actual interest in hockey in a place where the NHL never should have left. I’m sure the NHL’s newest coach, Kevin Dineen of the Florida Panthers, would certainly agree.