Hockey Garners a Few Mentions From the ESPYS

Here are the hockey nominees for ESPN’s yearly celebration of ESPN:

BEST PLAY: Ovechkin’s Game 5 Goal vs. the Rangers
BEST TEAM: Pittsburgh Penguins
BEST COACH: Dan Bylsma, Pittsburgh Penguins
BEST NHL PLAYER: Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin, Pavel Datsyuk, Evgeni Malkin
BEST MALE COLLEGE ATHLETE: Matt Gilroy, Boston University

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Big Shocker: Game 7 Drew Big Numbers in Pittsburgh

From the terrific Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

The Stanley Cup was Must-See TV for Pittsburghers.

According to Nielsen Media Research, more than 485,000 local television viewers watched Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Penguins and Detroit Red Wings. The NBC broadcast June 12 drew a 42.2 rating – the highest local mark for an NHL game since the league began tracking in 1995.

One local rating point equates to 11,500 viewers.

Also, 61 percent of regional television sets were tuned to Game 7, won by the Penguins to claim their third championship. The one quarter-hour peak rating/share was 54.6/73, with another quarter-hour at 53.1/73.

Insane numbers, though we know Game 7 likely drew great ratings in Detroit, too.  We recommend the full article, as it talks about the Penguins attempt to grow their brand in the shadow of the Steel Curtain.  With a special Sports Illustrated issue dedicated to their championship on newsstands everywhere, it’s clear the Penguins are close to becoming the NHL’s model franchise when it comes to selling itself.