Tag Archives: Raffi Torres

FROM THE CREASE with BRUCE BERLET

bruce mug shot 1Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals Saturday night could have even more emotion than the scintillating opener that the Vancouver Canucks won 1-0 over the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night on Raffi Torres’ goal with only 18.5 seconds left.

Canucks center Manny Malhotra, who played for the New York Rangers and Hartford Wolf Pack at the start of his 12-year pro career, practiced Friday with Jeff Tambellini and Victor Oreskovich, the wings on the fourth line in Game 1, indicating Malhotra could be on the verge of a miraculous comeback.

Malhotra hasn’t played since March 16, when he sustained a serious injury to his left eye when hit by a deflected puck in a game against the Colorado Avalanche. He has had two surgeries and likely will have a third, but general manager Mike Gillis denied reports Malhotra recently underwent an emergency operation, saying the 31-year-old had endured “multiple little, small procedures throughout this entire time” that are common for victims of eye injuries.

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TWO MINUTES from BRUCE BERLET

bruce mug shot 1Game 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.