Let's see... 5500 for the first practice, 8500 or so for the first scrimmage, 10,000 for the second -- and now this. People on the East Coast that think that St. Louis isn't a hockey town are in for a very, very rude awakening today.
This isn't exactly new -- in 2010 and 2011 the Blues finished top five in market share ratings among NHL cities (I still can't find data for 2012, but I assume that it's close to the same). To look at this season's TV viewing numbers, it appears that the Blues are en route for another top five finish.
Saturday night's opener against the Detroit Red Wings was the highest rated Blues opener broadcast on FoxSports Midwest, pulling a 6.0 share, which makes it the highest rated prime-time program in St. Louis that day. Monday evening's shootout win over the Nashville Predators did even better: it pulled a 7.4 rating, making it the highest rated regular season game ever. It topped out at 9.1 rating during the shootout, meaning 113,000 households were tuned in to see T.J. Oshie and Alex Steen rip goals past Pekka Rinne.
So, no, these aren't the number of households you'll see in Pittsburgh, or Chicago, or Philadelphia, or New York. St. Louis isn't the same market size as those markets -- but if you're talking percentages instead of actual people, St. Louis can hang with the big boys.