Home > Commentary > 2012 NHL Winter Classic Draws Big Ratings

2012 NHL Winter Classic Draws Big Ratings


The 2012 Winter Classic between the New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers was the 5th most watched regular-season NHL game in 37 years! According to Nielsen Media Research, the game drew 3.74 million viewers to NBC and the ratings grew every half hour until the end of the game. The game produced a 2.1 rating and a 4 share. By way of compairson, last years game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals drew 4.5 million viewers. Even though that is roughly a 16% drop from last years game, that number is somewhat misleading. Both the Alumni Game played on Dec. 31 and the main outdoor attraction, played on Monday January 2nd at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park, were sold out, with more than 45,000 in attendance at each. “It was spectacular. We could not have asked for any more from the event,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said during his post-Winter Classic press conference. “And I think the Alumni Game was a great appetizer to the main event . . . and just the entire reception in the city, the buzz throughout the city, and the crowd today was great.”

Personally, I thought the game was fantastic! It took almost the entire first period of play for the players to settle in. But once they did….wow! The game was fast, intense and the hitting was insane! Danny Briere’s penalty shot, which came with 19.6 seconds remaining in the game, was spectacular!! Even though he missed the shot, it added drama to an already dramatic game. I could have done without John Tortorella’s comments though. In his defense I can see how intially he would be upset about the call. I’m not sure if he could see the instant replay of the game on whatever screen they had at the park, but Ryan McDonagh did cover up the puck. A penalty shot was justified. I can’t tell if Tortorella was show boating or standing up for his team or what. But that guy needs to calm down.

Not to get off on a rant here, but I have been watching HBO’s 24/7 and it seems to me that that guy just likes to scream for the sake of screaming. If you ever watch 24/7, watch what happens when the Rangers come back into the dressing room. Tortorella just starts screaming. I have had coaches like Tortorella in the past and I have never understood them nor have I ever liked them. Does Tortorella assume that his players wouldn’t understand him if he was talking in a normal tone of voice? Do the words change their meaning somehow at a higher volume level? Then, after all his ranting and raving, his voice goes down to a normal octive and he basically says: “Ok guys, go out there and play a great game!” WTF IS THAT?! If you’ve ever been around me or with me watching a hockey game either live or on t.v., you will find out really quickly that I am a passionate guy. I like to scream and yell and when calls don’t go my way, I go nuclear (i.e. Justin Williams goal that was disallowed in Monday night’s game against Colorado. TOTAL B.S.!!!)! Isn’t that what a fan is suppose to do?!  I understand that as a coach you have to be passionate. There are times when you need to yell and kick players in the ass. You have to do that. But not all of the time and certainly not to the extent that coach Tortorella does it. As my loving aunt has pointed out to me, why aren’t there more coaches like Dan Bylsma? That guy is cool as ice (ha ha!). Calm, confident, coach Bylsma knows what he is doing. And note during all of this you rarely see coach Bylsma go “psycho.” All I’m saying is, coach Tortorella, calm down, we can hear you.

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  1. January 5, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    hah. Pens/Caps. nothing will top the original. This one didn’t make me buy HBO either. However, having seen all three episodes thus far, I totally agree with your Tortorella rant which wasn’t really a rant. I guess it’s effective given the Rangers surge but @#)$*)#@*$ enough is enough.

    • January 5, 2012 at 9:13 pm

      And if anyone believes for a moment Tortorellas apology in the hours before he was eventually fined in light of what we’ve seen of him behind closed doors (thank you HBO) then they’re kidding themselves. To each coach their own, I guess. In contrasting the two styles (Bylsma/Tortorella) the net result is the same: One Lord Stanleys Cup a piece.

  2. Justin
    January 6, 2012 at 8:18 am

    I don’t think this is a case of you say tomato, I say tamatO. I think because I have had moron coaches like coach Tortellini in the past, I have strong feelings on the subject. I’d rather have a coach like Phil Jackson (different sport I know, but I think you get my point) any day of the week over a guy who just screams his guts out. Stanley Cups aside, tell me straight, do you get more with honey or vinegar?

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