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SBD/May 14, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies
NHL Playoff Ratings Could See New Highs If League Gets Cross-Country Stanley Cup Final
Published May 14, 2012
NETTING A WIN: The GLOBE & MAIL's Bruce Dowbiggin notes the last time the NHL "was riding this high, in the estimation of American public opinion anyway, was during the spring of 1994 when the New York Rangers won their first Stanley Cup in 54 years." Much is "being made in some corners of the ascension in NHL playoff ratings and the concurrent decline in the NBA’s ratings during its just-completed first round." The NHL is "not about to surmount the NBA in popularity based on this year’s ratings." The NBA is still "comfortably ahead of the NHL on all the judges’ cards," but the first three weeks of the NHL playoffs on NBC "were the most-viewed on network TV" since '98. A Rangers-Kings final series "would no doubt set new benchmarks for the leauge" (GLOBE & MAIL, 5/14).
DEAD PUCK ERA? In Montreal, Jack Todd writes under the header, "NHL Playoffs Are Boring." Todd writes, "Halfway through the playoffs, a dozen series played, four teams left standing -- and we’ve seen exactly one entertaining series," the Flyers-Penguins first-round matchup. Todd: "My New NHL looks suspiciously like My Old NHL, circa 1997. Yeah, the games are close. Ever watched a nil-nil soccer game? They’re close, too. Doesn’t mean they’re fun." The new NHL was "supposed to be all about movement, skating, offence and talent." Right now it is "about obstruction, shot blocking, grinders and boredom" (Montreal GAZETTE, 5/14).