Blackhawks

CSN sets new all-time Blackhawks TV ratings record

CSN sets new all-time Blackhawks TV ratings record

COMCAST SPORTSNET SETS NEW ALL-TIME CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS
RATINGS RECORD FOR ITS LIVE COVERAGE OF GAME 6 LAST NIGHT

Last Nights Blackhawks First Round, Game 6 Victory Attracts Record 436,000 Households

New All-Time Records also set for Blackhawks Pre-Game Live & Blackhawks Post Game Live

1 Highest-Rated TV Station in Chicago Market from 6:00 11:30 PM for Households & Adults 25-54

1.7 Million Households have watched Comcast SportsNets Coverage of Six Playoff Telecasts

Chicago, IL (April 25, 2011) Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most comprehensive coverage of the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, delivered its highest Blackhawks rating ever last evening (April 24) -- a 12.45 household rating for its live coverage of the Blackhawks Game 6 first round, home ice victory over the Vancouver Canucks.

For last nights pulse-pounding playoff OT win by the Blackhawks forcing a Game 7 on Tuesday night (NOTE: Game 7 coverage begins at 8:30 PM on CSN, game will air on both Comcast SportsNet & CSN immediately following the conclusion of the Bulls game at approx. 9:45pm), Comcast SportsNet attracted approx. 436,074 households for the entire game and scored a massive 16.9 peak rating during the 9:45 PM quarter-hour (approx. 592,000 households). The 12.45 single game ratings record on Comcast SportsNet shatters the previous all-time record set last week on April 21 for the Blackhawks first round, Game 5 win at Vancouver (10.58). In addition, Comcast SportsNet also posted new all-time household ratings records last night for Chevy Blackhawks Pre-Game Live (3.43) and Jose Cuervo Blackhawks Post Game Live (5.32 for households, 5.81 for Adults 25-54). Source for all ratings information is provided by Nielsen Media Research.

Comcast SportsNet was also the 1-highest rated television network in the Chicago market last night for households and every key male & adult demographic for the entire length of the game (6:30-10:00 PM). In addition, for households and every key demographic (including Adults 25-54), Comcast SportsNet was the 1-highest rated network in the Chicago market from 6:00 11:30 PM, which included the networks airing of Chevy Blackhawks Pre-Game Live, the Blackhawks vs. Vancouver game telecast, Jose Cuervo Blackhawks Post Game Live and back-to-back airings of GMC SportsNet Central.

For its live coverage of six Stanley Cup Playoffs first round telecasts thus far, Comcast SportsNet has garnered approx. 1.71 MILLION Chicago TV households tuning in for the networks Blackhawks Stanley Cup Playoffs game coverage. Plus Comcast SportsNet has attracted close to ONE MILLION households (965,000) tuning in to Chevy Blackhawks Pre-Game Live and Jose Cuervo Blackhawks Post Game Live so far this playoff season.

In comparison to Comcast SportsNets first round playoff series last season (NOTE: Blackhawks faced Nashville last year in the first round), Household ratings this year for the first round are up 35 (8.13 vs. 6.02) and Adults 25-54 ratings have increased 46 (7.04 vs. 4.84)

Please note the following key details for Comcast SportsNets coverage of Game 7 TOMORROW NIGHT (Tue, Apr. 26)

9:00 PM BLACKHAWKS at VANCOUVER in HD (Rd. 1, Gm. 7) - LIVE on Comcast SportsNet & CSN

IMPORTANT NOTE: Beginning at 9:00pm, the Blackhawks game will start exclusively on CSNthe game will then air on BOTH Comcast SportsNet and CSN immediately following the conclusion of the Bulls game (approx. 9:45pm)
(NOTE: VISIT CSNCHICAGO.COM FOR EXACT CSN CHANNEL LOCATIONS IN YOUR AREA)

Featuring Pat Foley and Eddie Olczyk with the game call

Chevy Blackhawks Pre-Game Live with hosts Chris Boden and Steve Konroyd will begin at 8:30 PM on CSN & CSNChicago.comJose Cuervo Blackhawks Post Game Live airs immediately following the game on Comcast SportsNet & CSN.

Dennis Gilbert defends decision to stand up for Blackhawks teammate Alex DeBrincat

Dennis Gilbert defends decision to stand up for Blackhawks teammate Alex DeBrincat

The Blackhawks racked up a season-high 27 penalty minutes in Sunday's 4-3 shootout loss to the Arizona Coyotes, 17 of which came from Dennis Gilbert alone. And it all came on one sequence.

After watching Coyotes defenseman Jason Demers deliver a hit from behind on Alex DeBrincat that went unpenalized, Gilbert skated half the length of the ice to confront Demers and initiated a fight with the 11-year NHL veteran. The scrap didn't last long, but Gilbert was assessed a two-minute penalty for instigating, five for fighting and a 10-minute misconduct.

DeBrincat said after the game he appreciated Gilbert sticking up for him and so did the Blackhawks bench, most of whom gave Gilbert fist bumps and head taps as he was escorted out. But it came at a time when the Blackhawks were leading 3-2 near the midway mark of the second period and, unfortunately for Gilbert and the team, the Coyotes capitalized on the power play to even things up at 3-3 and it turned out to be the last goal scored in regulation.

"I thought it was a dirty hit," Gilbert said. "His numbers were showing and he decided to follow through and make the hit still. So it's tough, having to get an extra penalty for it. It's no fun and watching them score on the power play, they tie the game up and we end up not getting the win, which is unfortunate. But if you let that stuff happen to players on your team, especially your best players, it's going to keep happening.

"I'm not a fighter by any means; it kind of happens that coincidentally it's two games in a row. But I'm going to stand up for myself and for my teammates. ... I'm not going to sit back and let somebody get taken advantage of, whether it's on the ice or walking down the streets in Chicago."

A lot has been made about whether it was the wrong place and wrong time for Gilbert to stand up for his teammate. But the Blackhawks — both players and coaches — acknowledged it's a penalty they don't mind trying to kill off because the intention sent a powerful message throughout the locker room.

The Blackhawks were eight seconds away from killing off the penalty and this wouldn't be a discussion if they did. Still, Gilbert said he would do it again if he had to because he believes it's the right thing to do.

"I think it's kind of an instincutal thing," Gilbert said. "As a defenseman on a defenseman, it can be hard to orchestrate that. I don't like staged fights. It was an in-the-moment thing. I saw what I thought was a dirty hit and it wasn't penalized, so you've got to address it. Like I said, it's tough being shorthanded, but I think that it's important, especially on your better players, to make sure that guys know if you're going to hit them or take a shot at them, you're going to have to pay a price."

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Penalty kill improving, but Blackhawks struggling to stay out of the box

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USA Today

Penalty kill improving, but Blackhawks struggling to stay out of the box

The Blackhawks' struggles on the penalty kill last season have been well-documented. They ranked dead last with a 72.7 percent kill rate, which was the worst percentage of any NHL team in the past 30 years.

And what made the number more alarming is the fact the Blackhawks committed the third-fewest minor penalties last season, so it's not like they were shooting themselves in the foot in that regard. They simply couldn't rely on their penalty kill in any situation.

"It felt like it didn't matter what we tried to do to turn things around," Jonathan Toews said. "It just kept snowballing in the wrong direction for us." 

That's changed this season, but the Blackhawks haven't been doing themselves any favors as of late.

Since Nov. 29, the Blackhawks have committed the most minor penalties (23) of any team for an average of 3.83 per game over the last six contests. They've also given up the most power-play goals (six) in that span. 

Before that, the Blackhawks had committed just 78 minor penalties across 24 games, which ranked ninth-fewest. They've killed off 79.6 percent of their penalties this season, good for 17th, but the Blackhawks have put their special teams in a difficult position in the last half dozen games and it’s costing them points.

"We have to keep it out of our net and obviously stay out of the box too," Alex DeBrincat said following a 4-3 shootout loss to the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday. "Two of their goals came on power plays, so if we stayed out of the box I think we win that in regulation."

The Blackhawks committed a season-high six minor penalties on Sunday and played 10:07 of the game shorthanded, which was by far their most of the season, according to Natural Stat Trick. Two games prior in Boston, they spent 8:00 of the game on the penalty kill, which tied their third-highest total of the season.

Head coach Jeremy Colliton is pleased with the progression of the penalty kill and how the Blackhawks are pressuring at the appropriate time, denying entries and making big saves. They got away from that a bit on Sunday, but you won’t win many hockey games if you commit six penalties.

Staying out of the box is something that’s the bigger issue.

"I think our PK has been very good," Colliton said. "If we just talk about the last game, we got to focus on getting the puck all the way down and getting our structure back. When we're trying to attack, it's fine. It's great to score, but when we're trying to attack and it doesn't go well, we lack numbers back. They scored off the rush. They entered clean on the second goal and created zone time. We need our numbers to defend the entries."

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