TV ratings tricks
Now I'm hoping for mega-TV ratings as much as anyone, but I don't think either thing is impressive if you look closer.
The best Game 3 ratings since 2002? Well there's only been five Game 3s since then, so that's not a huge deal. And that also tells me that Sidney Crosby/Evgeni Malkin/Marian Hossa and the Red Wings had lower Game 3 ratings than Carolina and the Red Wings. That's not good news.
And as far as the Detroit market matchup against the Pistons, these ratings need to be put in context. Game 3 for the Red Wings was on broadcast TV (NBC). The Pistons were on cable. I don't care what the cable outlet, cable can't match broadcast for ratings. For Game 2 of the SCF, when it was on cable, the Pistons topped the Red Wings.
The ratings in general have been healthier than normal for the NHL. But I wouldn't go around shouting that the Wings have better ratings than the Pistons just yet. Put them both on broadcast TV, put them both in their league's championship series and then compare the ratings.
The NHL ratings are good, but not as good as they should be for having Crosby and the Wings in the Stanley Cup final. I feel like Andy Travis when the first ratings book for WKRP came in.