The Phoenix Coyotes, a team that has struggled to put butts in the seats and was nearly relocated to Canada last year, got some encouraging news from Nielsen Media Research: More people are watching games on television.
What a difference a winning season makes.
According to the Neilson ratings, Coyotes games are seeing a 50 percent increase in viewership from last year, and the team's Quest Coyotes Live pregame show has seen a 90 percent increase from last year.
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The increase comes as the Coyotes, now 34-18-5, are on a five-game-win-streak and already have 79 points with 20 games remaining in the season. That's a substantial improvement from last year, when the Coyotes only had 79 points all season.
Barring a colossal meltdown, the Coyotes will make the playoffs this year. They're currently in second place in their division and are sitting pretty at third in the Western Conference.
Last night in Minnesota, the Coyotes completed a season sweep of the Minnesota Wild. The team heads to Colorado to take on the Avalanche tomorrow.
The Neilson ratings are encouraging news, but it doesn't change the fact that the team's attendance is among the worst in the league. The howlers will be back in Glendale on Saturday to take on the Dallas Stars so why not actually go to the game rather than watch it on television? There's a good chance they'll win and if not, it's still hockey, so you're almost certain to see a fight.