Blackhawks

7 MILLION Chicago TV households tuned in for 52 live pro games in April on CSN

7 MILLION Chicago TV households tuned in for 52 live pro games in April on CSN

7,000,000 CHICAGO TV HOUSEHOLDS TUNED IN FOR
52 LIVE PRO GAMES IN APRIL ON COMCAST SPORTSNET
Biggest month in Network history also includes 3.8 million homes tuning in for PrePost Game Live2.8 million homes tuned in to live editions of SportsNet Central & Chicago Tribune Live 1 Highest-Rated Cable Network in Primetime in April for Households & Every Demo Category1 Overall Highest-Rated Television Station in Primetime for Every Male Demo & Adults 18-49
Chicago, IL (May 2, 2011) Fueled by two thrilling Bulls and Blackhawks first round playoff series (which included the 1 highest-rated Bulls and 1 highest-rated Blackhawks telecasts in network history), along with the always-anticipated start of another baseball season on both sides of town, Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Bulls, Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox, delivered record-setting television ratings during the month of April 2011.

Over the past month (April 1 May 1), Comcast SportsNet televised 52 live professional games (Blackhawks: four regular seasonseven playoffs; Bulls: two regular seasonfive playoffs; Cubs: 14 regular season; White Sox: 18 regular season; Fire: two regular season) amassing a total viewing audience of close to SEVEN MILLION Chicago TV households (6,956,864). During this time period, the network set a new weekly record amassing over 2.6 million homes tuning in for 15 live pro events from April 18-24. (NOTE: Over the course of SIX weeks last year, Apr. 1 - May 16, 2010, Comcast SportsNet carried 66 live pro events gathering 6.5 million Chicago TV homes tuning in.)

In addition, Comcast SportsNet also attracted 3.8 million Chicago TV homes tuning in for all live editions of Pre-Game Live and Post Game Live, including a record-breaking 5.3 household rating for Jose Cuervo Blackhawks Post Game Live on April 24 (over 186,300 homes). Plus 2.9 million more Chicago TV homes also tuned in to the networks locally-produced, live sports news and talk programming (SportsNet Central & Chicago Tribune Live). Source for all ratings information is provided by Nielsen Media Research.

This past month has demonstrated the incredible passion of Chicago sports fans, along with the depth of our local sports coverage, said James J. Corno, President of Comcast SportsNet Chicago. We understand how much Chicago sports fans love their teams and thats why well continue to go beyond just game coverage with expert insight, analysis and the very latest local sports news and detailed information thats important to our fan base. Naturally, none of this would be possible without the enormous success and popularity of our pro team partners and I credit their staffs, along with our distributors, our advertisers and everyone here at Comcast SportsNet, for making the most of this very exciting time in Chicago sports history.

During primetime (7:00-10:00 PM CT) over the past month (averaging in all nights when it carried a live pro game telecast), Comcast SportsNet was the 1-highest rated cable television network in the Chicago market for every major TV ratings category including Households and the key advertising demo of Adults 25-54. In addition, Comcast SportsNet was 1 overall in primetime (which includes all broadcast TV stations) in the demo categories of Men 18-34, Men 18-49, Men 25-54, Adults 18-34 & Adults 18-49 (Comcast SportsNet was 2 overall in Adults 25-54 and 3 overall for Households).

On Tuesday, April 26, Comcast SportsNet enjoyed the biggest night in its 6 year history, which included live coverage of the Bulls First RoundGame 5 series clincher vs. Indiana (10.93 household rating2 highest-rated Bulls game in network history) and the Blackhawks First RoundGame 7 OT battle at Vancouver (13.33 household rating1 highest-rated Blackhawks game in network history). On that historic night, Comcast SportsNet was the 1 overall highest-rated television network for eight-straight hours from 5:30 PM 1:30 AM.

The top spotlight over the past month is the fact that the Top 5 highest-rated games EVER to air on Comcast SportsNet (which includes every Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox telecast since the network launched on October 1, 2004) all occurred during the course of a five-day period (Apr. 21-26):
1) 13.69 Bulls at IND (Rd. 1, Gm. 3 on April 21)2) 13.33 Blackhawks at VAN (Rd. 1, Gm. 7 on April 26)3) 12.45 Blackhawks vs. VAN (Rd. 1, Gm. 6 on April 24)4) 10.93 Bulls vs. IND (Rd. 1, Gm. 5 on April 26)5) 10.58 Blackhawks at VAN (Rd. 1, Gm. 5 on April 21)

Five takeaways from Blackhawks' overtime loss to Lightning: Missed opportunities and one too many penalties

Five takeaways from Blackhawks' overtime loss to Lightning: Missed opportunities and one too many penalties

Here are five takeaways from the Blackhawks’ 3-2 overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday night:
 
1. One too many penalties.

The Blackhawks flirted with danger in the first period when they handed the Lightning three straight continuous power plays, a four-minute double minor high-sticking penalty from John Hayden and a Jonathan Toews hooking call that resulted in a 5-on-3 opportunity for Tampa Bay for 43 seconds. 

The penalty kill unit that ranked fourth in the league entering the matchup, however, killed off all three of those penalties against the NHL's top-ranked power play, and did so in commanding fashion.

The Blackhawks went 5-for-5 on the penalty kill in regulation, but couldn't stop the sixth one — a questionable slashing call on Nick Schmaltz —  in overtime when Brayden Point buried the winner on a 4-on-3 opportunity.

It was also interesting that Jon Cooper elected to go with four forwards (Nikita Kucherov, Vladislav Namestnikov, Point and Steven Stamkos) and zero defensemen during that man advantage, putting all of his offensive weapons out on the ice. It's something more teams should do in that situation.

2. Patrick Kane gets going.

After scoring just one goal in his previous 10 games, Kane found the back of the net twice in the opening frame against Tampa Bay and stayed hot against a team he historically plays well against. And he nearly netted a hat trick in overtime but couldn't cash in on a breakaway opportunity.

Kane has 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists) in 14 career regular-season games against the Lightning, and extended his point streak to five games. He has three goals and four assists over that stretch.

We wrote about how important it is for the Blackhawks' superstars to get going again with the offensive contributions mainly coming from role players as of late, and Kane getting into a groove is a perfect step in that direction.

3. How about that goaltending battle?

Corey Crawford and Andrei Vasilevskiy showed us exactly why they belong in the Vezina Trophy discussion, and as of this moment, it's hard not to include both of them as finalists. They put on a goaltending clinic, seemingly topping the other as the game went on.

The two teams combined for 71 scoring chances, and Crawford and Vasilevskiy came up big when their teams need them the most.

Crawford finished with 35 saves on 38 shots (.921 save percentage) in the loss while Vasilevskiy stopped 29 of 31 (.935 save percentage), and improved to 15-2-1 on the season. 

4. Missed opportunities.

You couldn't have asked for a better start for the Blackhawks. They scored the first goal 3:49 into the game and the second on the power play at 15:54, killed off three penalties, including a 5-on-3, had 24 shot attempts (13 on goal) compared to the Lightning's 16 attempts (11 on goal) and led in even-strength scoring chances 9-6.

It was a different story the rest of the way.

The Blackhawks took their foot off the gas pedal a bit and let the Lightning back in the game by getting away from what they do best, and that's control the puck. Obviously, you expected the league's best offense to push back and it's certainly not an easy task to keep them off the scoresheet all together. 

But the Blackhawks had their chances to stay in front or retake the lead and just couldn't bury them. Tampa Bay had 50 shot attempts from the second period on while the Blackhawks had only 32, and finished with 44 scoring chances compared to Chicago's 27.

5. Richard Panik in the doghouse?

Joel Quenneville didn't go to his line blender in this one, but he did shorten some leashes. Panik, most notably, had a season-low 12:28 of ice time in the loss and had 15 shifts, which was second-fewest only to Ryan Hartman (13) on the team.

Panik had a prime chance to break a 2-2 tie in the third period but was denied by Vasilevskiy, who made a remarkable left-pad save. Instead, Panik extended his goal drought to 12 games and didn't get a shift in overtime.

He's certainly better and will get his scoring chances when playing on the top line with Toews and Brandon Saad, but the missed opportunities are magnified in tight losses. It doesn't look like a move down in the lineup is coming given the success of Alex DeBrincat, who gives the Blackhawks an offensive weapon on the third line, but perhaps it should be considered.

Bring your own stuffing: Jazz swat Bulls on Thanksgiving Eve

Bring your own stuffing: Jazz swat Bulls on Thanksgiving Eve

On the second (turkey) leg of a back-to-back, the Bulls didn't bring much energy in a 110-80 loss to the Utah Jazz. 

Instead of diving into the nitty-gritty of the uninspiring effort, though, we decided to just serve you up a Thanksgiving meal of highlights. Here are the top blocks from Wednesday's game: 

5. Derrick Favors is no Rudy Gobert -- that we know -- but imitation is the highest form of flattery. 

4. Are Bobby Portis chase down blocks the new LeBron James chase down blocks? Let's not get carried away... yet. We'll chalk it up to just a real nice hustle play by Bobby. 

3 and 2. Speaking of hustle plays... Jonas Jerebko isn't exactly known as a dominant defender. He sure made it hard for the Bulls on what should of been an easy fast-break bucket in the third quarter, though. First, he silenced Kris Dunn's reverse. Then, he met Lauri Markkanen at the rim and sent the rookie packing. The Baby Bulls 2.0 can blame it on fatigue, but they just handed Jerebko a highlight tape for years to come.   

1. In fairness, Jerian Grant had to get up a shot as the quarter was coming to a close. It is as vicious as it looks, though.