In the Box: the Blues and Lightning are posting big ratings gains, too

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis and Tampa Bay add to the deluge of improved local ratings, plus a Hockey Night update.

In the Box is a somewhat regular feature on Puck the Media where we cover some of the stories that aren't necessarily big enough to warrant their own posts, but are within this site's jurisdiction.

*While the Chicago Blackhawks team that beat them on Thursday is drawing ratings records, the St. Louis Blues local numbers are nothing to look down upon. In the games before Thursday's St. Louis-Chicago showdown, the Blues were averaging a 5.0 local rating on FS Midwest, which would mark the best in network history (though the Blues used to garner better ratings when their games aired on KPLR as recently as a few years ago). This is up 144 percent from the same point last season, and up big over the team's 3.5 average for all of last season.

*The Tampa Bay Lightning aren't necessarily a team you hear ratings figures about, at least not since their run to the Eastern Conference Final in 2011. According to a team press release, the team is averaging a 2.0 rating in the market, up 60 percent over this point last year. The team is on pace for it's highest-rated season ever on SunSports. The past two Lightning seasons have averaged a .82 (2010-11) and a 1.39 (2011-12), respectively.

*The NHL on TSN got a big boost from Wednesday night's high-profile Leafs-Habs showdown. According to a network press release, the Canadiens win over Toronto drew 1.53 million viewers. That made it the most-watched NHL game on TSN since 2005, the last time we were coming out of a lockout. 893,000 viewers watched the game on French-language RDS, meaning just a bit over 2.4 million people in Canada were into it. TSN said that 7.2 million people in Canada watched "some part" of the game on both networks. A few days earlier, 2.34 million Canadians watched Leafs-Sens on CBC.

*College hockey on NBCSN just wasn't quite ready for a battle of Connecticut. The Feb. 22 matchup between Yale and Connecticut drew just 38,000 viewers to the network. Conversely, the North Dakota-Denver matchup that followed it increased it's average audience to 66,000 viewers. Rarely in any level of hockey, on any network, does the viewing audience go up from a 7 p.m. ET game to a 10 p.m. ET game. No college hockey team appears to be as big a television draw as North Dakota, however.

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