The National Hockey League continued its thundering resurgence this past week. Hot off the skates of besting first round ratings records about a month ago, the most exciting live sport posted more impressive numbers for the game seven between the Boston Bruins and the Tampa Bay Lightning. In all, the Versus telecast averaged 2.5 million viewers, good enough to become the highest rated non-Stanley Cup finals hockey game in the history of the cable channel. Overall, it was the highest rated NHL telecast on any cable network since heated rivals the Detroit Red Wings and the Colorado Avalanche faced off in game six of the Western Conference Finals in 2002 on ESPN.

While those figures may not compare to the National Football League playoffs which have been known to draw more than fifty million viewers, it's important to keep in mind that not too long ago, the NHL was actually begging stations to play their games. Those days of asking for handouts are gone. The league agreed to a deal with Versus and NBC about a month and a half ago worth nearly two billion, and if this pace continues, it'll prove to be a steal for the Peacock Network.

If you missed out on the aforementioned game seven, you should really start reassessing your priorities. Tied nearly the entire way, the Bruins scored with under eight minutes to go and desperately held on for a 1-0 victory. It was the first playoff game without a penalty in at least a decade, but the hitting and board play were still tenacious.

The Stanley Cup Finals begin on Wednesday in Vancouver when the Bruins take the ice against the hometown Canucks. You can catch the game along with millions of fans on NBC at 8 PM EST.

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