It wasn't a Wednesday, but a rivalry game produced big NHL numbers for NBC Sports Network.
Sunday night's telecast of the Canadiens victory over the Bruins drew 813,000 viewers. The game was the most-watched Sunday night game in the network's history, the fifth-most watched NHL regular season game in the history of the network, the most-watched game featuring a Canadian team ever on the network, and the most-watched game featuring a Canadian team on cable in nearly 13 years.
The game eclipsed or came near previous highs, including the prior Sunday night record of 664,000 viewers for Boston and the Rangers in April of 2012. The previous record for an NBCSN game featuring a Canadian team was a Bruins-Canadiens game on Feb. 6. The last game on cable featuring a Canadian team to draw this big an audience was Mario Lemieux's comeback game against the Maple Leafs, which drew 1.04 million viewers on Dec. 27, 2000.
Boston drew a very healthy 9.26 rating for the game, making it the highest-rated NBCSN game ever in the market. NBC Sports Network was the No. 1-rated network in the Boston... sigh, market during the game. That means it beat The Walking Dead, The Simpsons, that weird Mark Burnett thing with the Bible, and everything else on Sunday evening television.
Safe to say, the Montreal Canadiens are officially in that spot the Vancouver Canucks are in where, if paired with a bigger market team in a Stanley Cup Final, NBC wouldn't be so worried about the numbers.