Comparing Vancouver noise levels in Stanley Cup finals to Chicago and Philadelphia in 2010

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Last year, we followed the competing noise levels between Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers fans during the 2010 Stanley Cup finals. NHL.com is keeping track of the ear-splitting volumes of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals as well, so we thought it would be interesting to follow those trends again.

Before we get into the Decibel Meter readings for Game 2 in Vancouver, NHL.com provides some context about how these sound levels would affect your hearing (and comfort) during a game.

Level at which sustained exposure may result in hearing loss:      90 – 95dB
Pain begins:     
125dB
Loudest recommended exposure WITH hearing protection:      
140dB
Loudest sound possible:      
194dB

Looking at last year’s first four games, Chicago’s crowd hit 121dB and 122dB peaks in their first two home games while Philadelphia hit 114dB and 118dB in Games 3 and 4. While we couldn’t find readings from Game 1 in Vancouver, NHL.com provides some of the highest levels of noise saturation in Game 2. Here are some of the most interesting readings.

Pre-game “Manny! (Malhotra) chant: 98dB – like a snowmobile
Malhotra’s first shift, appears on video screen: 108dB – Power saw
Burrows’ first goal: 111dB – Sandblasting
Daniel Sedin’s tying goal: 114dB – Loud rock concert
Burrows scores the OT winner: 117 dB – Loud rock concert
Fans chant “We Want the Cup” – Snowmobile

Obviously, it became very loud at points in Rogers Arena during Game 2, yet Chicago’s crowd hit higher peaks in both of their games and Philadelphia managed a higher peak in Game 4. That doesn’t mean that they were louder over the long haul, but it might give some credibility to Philly and Chicago as strong hockey markets if they can hang with a Canadian one.

The Canucks crowd’s loudest times provided a stark contrast to some long stretches when it seemed like you could hear a pin drop in Game 2 in Vancouver (or so it seemed on TV, at least). The Vancouver audience seemed substantially subdued when Boston was holding onto a 2-1 lead in the third period, prompting many (myself included) to wonder why they were so rattled when the Canucks were only trailing by a single goal. Obviously, that solemn atmosphere didn’t last forever, especially once Daniel Sedin notched things up by scoring on a yawning net.

It’s quite possible that Vancouver fans were simply terrified that the team might let its best chance to win a first-ever Stanley Cup slip away. That’s an understandable fear and they certainly showed great passion when the Canucks got back into the game (and also showed fantastic spirit when Malhotra completed his courageous comeback).

Please keep in mind that there probably aren’t big differences in these results; ultimately these fan bases are making a ton of noise. That being said, it’s fun to back up (or refute) assumptions about loud crowds with hard numbers. We’ll let you know how the crowds in Boston perform as the Bruins try to fight their way back into this series and we’ll also keep an eye on Vancouver’s crowds if the series stretches to five games or more.

Capitals defeat Blue Jackets in clash of Metropolitan Division powers

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WASHINGTON (AP) T.J. Oshie scored the shootout winner as the Washington Capitals overcame a stellar performance from Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky to beat the Blue Jackets 2-1 Thursday night.

Despite 44 saves from Bobrovsky, the Capitals reached 104 points and extended their lead atop the Metropolitan Division and NHL standings. Oshie engendered memories of his Sochi Olympic shootout performance by again beating Bobrovsky, the goalie he scored on four times in six chances that day.

Dmitry Orlov finally cracked Bobrovsky early in the third period on Washington’s 35th shot of the game. Orlov’s goal tied the score after Seth Jones beat Braden Holtby on a wild scramble early in the third for his first goal since Feb. 7.

Holtby had 29 saves in regulation and overtime and three more in the shootout to pick up his 38th victory of the season, one shy of Bobrovsky for the league lead.

A showdown between two of the top three teams in the league jockeying for position atop the Metropolitan Division lacked a playoff feel. But the matchup of two likely Vezina Trophy finalists lived up to that billing as Bobrovsky and Holtby went back and forth with big saves.

Bobrovsky entered the night first in wins, goals-against average and save percentage with Holtby second, second and third in those categories. The 2013 Vezina winner could also be an MVP contender this season given his value to Columbus’ third playoff berth in franchise history.

“When he’s in his game it’s very hard to score on him,” said Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, who had eight shots stopped by one of his Russian national teammates. “He likes the big moments, he likes pressure. His worth ethic is unbelievable. … In my opinion he’s one of the best goalies in the league right now.”

Methot ‘out for weeks’ after suffering a shattered finger from Crosby clash

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The Ottawa Senators lost defenseman Marc Methot for the bulk of Thursday’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, and it seems he’ll be out for quite a while longer, too.

Methot was injured on a Sidney Crosby slash across the hand in the first period. He didn’t return to the game and there was no penalty called on the Penguins captain.

Footage showed the gruesome aftermath of the slash — Methot’s finger on his left hand bloodied and injured as he skated back to the bench.

“His finger is shattered and he’s out for weeks,” said Senators head coach Guy Boucher, per the Ottawa Sun.

Methot immediately confronted Crosby after the slash, which occurred as the Sens blue liner went to dump the puck into the Pittsburgh zone late in the first period.

The Senators got revenge, scoring a 2-1 shootout victory to move within a point of Montreal for the Atlantic Division lead. Crosby was also denied in the shootout.

NHL to make ‘special announcement’ in China next week

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The National Hockey League has announced it will make a “special announcement” at the LeSports Center in Beijing, China next Thursday.

In January, the league’s deputy commissioner Bill Daly made it clear the NHL has interest in playing games in China — likely starting out with pre-season games before potentially adding in some regular season contests in the future, as well.

Just after the league made its announcement on Thursday, the L.A. Kings tweeted out that they will participate in next week’s event, along with the Vancouver Canucks.

In January, hockey insider Darren Dreger reported that the Canucks and Kings were likely to play NHL pre-season games in China this upcoming September.

Last July, members of the Boston Bruins visited China, specifically Beijing and Shanghai, to host hockey clinics in those cities.

Beijing will also host the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Flyers survive early Mason mistake to upset Wild

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Insert the ‘It’s not how you start but how you finish’ cliche right here.

The Philadelphia Flyers fell behind the Minnesota Wild on Thursday, as Zach Parise was the beneficiary of a Steve Mason mistake just 2:07 into the first period.

Mason couldn’t control the deflection into the zone, coughing up a rebound in front. Eric Staal forced a loose puck to Parise and he buried it to open the scoring.

Yeah, not ideal for the Flyers, who are still clinging to the slimmest of playoff hopes.

But they responded with three unanswered goals, including this beauty from Sean Couturier.

Philadelphia took over for a 3-1 victory, with Mason making 24 saves on 25 shots, as Minnesota’s struggles continue. The Wild still sit second in the Central Division but have only two wins in their last 10 games and were unable to secure a playoff spot Thursday.