Baltimore 3rd Highest Market for Winter Classic

January 03, 2011 | Ed Frankovic

The national television ratings for the 2011 Winter Classic from Saturday night on NBC, in which the Capitals defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1, are in and guess which market was third on the list in terms of viewership? You guessed it, Baltimore!

My friend and great writer Dan Steinberg over at the Washington Post had the following item in his blog today:

* Baltimore’s love affair with the Caps continued. The Winter Classic earned its third-highest ratings in that market, with a 6.6 rating and an 11 share. The story of Baltimore’s increasing obsession with the Caps has yet to be written, but it’s a pretty cool one. Richmond finished eighth in the ratings; Baltimore and Richmond were the only non-NHL cities in the top 10.

Clearly, the Caps are continuing to become a regional team as evidenced by not only the good numbers in Charm City but also those in Richmond. The team is performing well and are fun to watch. In addition, owner Ted Leonsis and his organization have done a superb job of reaching out to Baltimore and providing access to the team. Ted and his staff clearly get it!

At WNST, we are committed to continuing to bringing you coverage of the Capitals via WNST.NET and on the airwaves (Morning Show Host Drew Forrester has a Capitals player on bi-weekly to talk hockey). Thanks for reading and for tuning in.

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Semyon Varlamov was named the NHL’s 1st star of the week for the week ending January 2nd. Varlamov stopped 55 of 56 shots in backstopping the Capitals to a pair of victories, including the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. He began the week stopping 25 shots for his second shutout of the season in a 3-0 victory over the Montreal Canadiens Dec. 28. Named the Capitals’ starting goaltender for NHL Winter Classic earlier in the day, Varlamov recorded 32 saves in Washington’s 3-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins in front of 68,111 outdoors at Heinz Field Saturday night. The 22-year-old Samara, Russia native improved his career regular-season record to 26-8-8 in 45 appearances.

Shane Doan of Phoenix and Nicklas Lidstrom of the Red Wings were the 2nd and 3rd stars, respectively.

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In the semi-finals of the World Under 20 Junior Championships from Buffalo, New York, the Caps have four of their prospects playing in today’s semi-finals, which will be shown on the NHL Network starting at 330 pm. In the Russia vs. Sweden tilt, defenseman Dmitri Orlov (2009 Caps 2nd round pick) and Evgeny Kuznetsov (2010 Caps 1st round pick) will suit up for the Russians. In case you missed it last night, Kuznetsov pretty much single-handily put his club in this semi-final contest scoring two goals and adding an assist on the last three Russian tallies in a wild rally over a stunned Finland squad. Russia was down 3-1 with just under five minutes to go and #25 scored the second marker, assisted on the game tying goal with a dazzling end to end rush, and then won it in overtime. For those who’ve read my blogs following the Caps 2010 NHL entry draft and 2010 summer development camp, you know that Kuznetsov has all kinds of skill and talent.

Tonight’s second semi-final matchup has the USA taking on Canada. Patrick Wey (Caps 4th round selection in 2009) is on defense for Team USA while Cody Eakin (Caps 3rd round pick in 2009) will play forward for Team Canada. That game starts at 730 pm. The championship will take place on Wednesday on the NHL Network at 730 pm.

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The Caps are back in on action on Tuesday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Verizon Center. Game time is 7 pm and it will be shown on Comcast Sports Net in High Definition. The Capitals and the Bolts are currently tied for first in the Southeast Division with 51 points but Tampa is technically ahead because it has played two fewer games.

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