Penguins Blackhawks Hockey

Penguins-Blackhawks averages 2.8 million viewers on NBC


A lot of numbers coming up, and all of them saying good things about the TV ratings for Saturday’s game at snowy Soldier Field.

From NBC Sports Group:

NBC’s primetime coverage of Saturday night’s NHL Stadium Series game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks (8-11:15 p.m. ET) from Soldier Field in Chicago averaged 2.8 million viewers and produced a 1.7 HH rating, making it the most-watched and highest-rated NHL regular-season game, excluding Winter Classics and regional coverage, since the advent of People Meters (1987), according to Fast National data from The Nielsen Company.

Average viewership for Saturday night’s primetime telecast on NBC, in which the Blackhawks defeated the Penguins, 5-1, was up 33% compared to NBC’s previous NHL Stadium Series game on Jan. 26 between the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils (1:27-4:30 p.m. ET, 2.1 million).

Locally, Chicago posted a 14.9 rating, making it the highest-rated regular-season Blackhawks game ever on NBC in the Chicago market, even topping the 2009 NHL Winter Classic (11.8), which saw the Detroit Red Wings defeat the Blackhawks, 6-4, at Chicago’s Wrigley Field. In Pittsburgh, the game registered a 13.3 rating. NBC was No. 1 network in both markets from 8-11:15 pm ET.

Getzlaf didn’t love the ‘dead’ atmosphere at Coyotes game

Martin Erat, Ryan Getzlaf
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Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf wasn’t impressed with at least two things last night in Arizona:

1. His team’s performance in a 4-2 loss to the Coyotes.
2. The atmosphere inside Gila River Arena, where the announced attendance was just 11,578.

“It’s hard. When you come into a building … it’s dead,” Getzlaf told the O.C. Register. “Nothing against the fans. It’s hard to fill a big building like this and have the amount of people in it to build your energy. So you have to do it yourself. You have to be ready when you step on the ice. I thought we came out flat.”

Anaheim’s record fell to 8-11-4 with the defeat.

The Coyotes’ average attendance also fell, to 13,144 in eight games.

Jarred Tinordi becomes the latest youngster to be sent to the AHL for ‘conditioning’

Jarred Tinordi, Brendan Gallagher
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Like Frank Corrado (see here), Tomas Jurco (see here), Stanislav Galiev (see here), and Patrik Nemeth (see here) before him, Canadiens defenseman Jarred Tinordi is off to the AHL for a conditioning stint.

Tinordi, 23, has yet to play a single game for the Habs this season; however, because he’s no longer exempt from waivers, the former first-round pick has remained on Montreal’s roster.

It’s an issue that’s received a good deal of attention lately. Some believe the league should do something about it, lest more young players get “stuck” in the NHL.

Tinordi will only be allowed to spend two weeks in St. John’s, as per the rules of his conditioning loan.

Safe to say, if you’re an NHL general manager who thinks Tinordi still has potential, Marc Bergevin would welcome your best offer.

Stars place Lehtonen on IR, call up Campbell and Nemeth

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Kari Lehtonen will miss at least a few games with the upper-body injury he suffered the other night against Ottawa. The Dallas Stars announced today that they’ve placed the 32-year-old goalie on injured reserve, retroactive to Tuesday.

With Lehtonen out, Jack Campbell has been called up from AHL Texas to be Antti Niemi‘s backup. The Stars host Vancouver Friday, with a game at Minnesota Saturday.

Campbell, the 11th overall pick in the 2010 draft, has struggled in the AHL this season, going 3-3-0 with an .873 save percentage.

The Stars have also recalled defenseman Patrik Nemeth after the 23-year-old completed his 14-day conditioning assignment.

Related: Campbell credits ECHL stint for turning his game around

Gleason ends tryout with ‘Canes

Tim Gleason, David Desharnais
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Tim Gleason has likely played his last NHL game. The 32-year-old defenseman has informed the Carolina Hurricanes that he no longer wishes to continue his professional tryout.

“Tim informed us today he wasn’t going to continue to pursue his tryout,” said GM Ron Francis, per the club’s website. “He looked and felt good physically, but didn’t feel up to the grind of the NHL mentally.”

Gleason started last season with Carolina before he was traded to Washington in February.

In his career, he’s played 727 NHL games, plus 32 more in the playoffs.