Thursday’s sixth game in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs drew an overnight, estimated audience of just over 3.4 million total (all ages) viewers. On Sportsnet National, the Live+ same day tally was 1,997,000; there were 1,409,000 who watched the same game on CBC.

That Leafs victory forced a seventh and deciding game to be played in Boston. That audience will likely top four million viewers Saturday night on CBC and Sportsnet.

Earlier in the series, last Tuesday’s fifth game — when Leaf fans hopes were at their lowest leading into the first of three straight elimination tilts — was watched by an overnight, estinated 2.57 million (SNet Nat 1356/CBC 1220). Later that same night, another 1,341,000 watched Nashville battle Vancouver. A Winnipeg/Colorado game drew another 622,000 hockey fans on CBC alone.

That poor showing in Game Four, where three of the Leafs “Core Four” were squabbling on the bench, was witnessed by just over 2.8 million on Saturday, April 27.

All those promos before those full houses for NHL action did nothing to bring viewers to the competition series Canada’s Ultimate Challenge, which launched Sunday, April 28. Just 131,000 overnight, estimated viewers took the challenge.

May the 4th be with Leafs fans? This Saturday’s Gane 7 brought a reminder from frequent reader and Boston sports producer/cameraman Kevin Vahey that it has been 65 years since the Leafs have beaten Boston in such an all-or-nothing elimination tilt. The last time Toronto won a Game 7 in Boston was April 7, 1959 – 23,769 days ago. Thanks for rubbing it in, Kevin! You can see the game, complete with Esso commercials, Foster and Bill Hewitt calling the play and rinkside interviews with the likes of Gordie Howe, in the black and white video, below.


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