Mike Milbury was merciless in his criticism of Alexander Ovechkin last night, but not too many folks (especially in Ovechkin's home of Washington) were tuning in.
The Capitals' 4-1 loss to the Flyers on Wednesday drew 433,000 viewers, the lowest for a 7/8 p.m. ET game this season on NBC Sports Network's Wednesday Night Rivalry. The numbers were affected by a strange situation in Washington where the game was allowed to air on both local rightsholder CSN Mid-Atlantic and NBC Sports Network. Though one could argue that, by the third period, Washington's tolerance for tuning into that game on either network was likely limited.
The second game is more cut and dry: Detroit was blacked out and watching on FS Detroit, and their tight tilt with the Los Angeles Kings saw NBCSN's worst numbers of the Wednesday Night Rivalry season. 232,000 viewers tuned into the exciting, Anze Kopitar-won game, the worst of the season on the night. It was even lower than last week's late game between St. Louis and Colorado (291,000 viewers), though neither of those markets were affected by a blackout.
NBC Sports Network could end up with a bounceback next week with Colorado and Chicago taking the Wednesday night slot if the Hawks are still nursing their record-breaking opening point streak.
Viewership for 2013 NHL on NBCSN's Wednesday Night Rivalry
Jan. 23, Boston vs. NY Rangers - 956,000 viewers
Jan. 30, Chicago vs. Minnesota - 827,000 viewers
Feb. 6, Boston vs. Montreal - 771,000 viewers
Feb. 13, St. Louis vs. Detroit - 453,000 viewers
Feb. 20, Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh - 901,000 viewers
Feb. 20, St. Louis vs. Colorado - 291,000 viewers
Feb. 27, Washington vs. Philadelphia - 433,000 viewers
Feb. 27, Detroit vs. Los Angeles - 232,000 viewers