Maybe Bruins television rights-holder NESN should reward winger Mark Recchi with his own show or at least a segement during its in-game programming.
If there was any chance the network wasn’t going to set a new record for its Bruins-Montreal Canadiens broadcast last night two weeks after Zdeno Chara’s stanchion hit on Max Pacioretty, Recchi Wednesday re-focused everyone’s attention on the greatest rivalry in hockey with his comments about the Habs’ embellishing of Pacioretty’s injury.
Recchi backed away from those comments after the Bruins’ 7-0 win and classified them as a ploy to take the heat off Chara. But NESN still owes Recchi a thank you. Last night’s game garnered a 6.6 household rating according to Nielsen, which NESN says is the highest rating for a regular season game in the network’s 27 years as the home of the Bruins.
The previous record was another game with some physical drama to it, as Matt Cooke and Pittsburgh visited Boston last March 18 for the first time after Cooke’s blindside hit on Marc Savard. Shawn Thornton obliged the audience — a 6.2 household rating that night — by pounding Cooke in a fight, but the Bruins vanished after that in a 3-0 loss. Leading up to that game, Bruins players stuck to a strict code of silence when it came to Cooke. Maybe if they’d opened their mouths, NESN’s ratign would’ve blown off the roof.
One thing is certain as the Bruins take today off — NESN is crossing its collective fingers, arms and legs hoping for a Boston-Montreal playoff series. If the season ended today, those two teams would meet in the first round, and if NESN could pry some of the games from VS and NBC, it would have ratings gold.