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The Buffalo Sabres had a miserable season, but in Buffalo, loyalty remained high.  Buffalo was the highest-rated market in the regular season for NBC and NBCSN’s national games and, with Sabres games, generated the second-highest local cable rating in the N.H.L. (Pittsburgh had the highest.)

That also includes games that didn’t feature the Sabres.  Buffalo had the highest ratings during the NHL playoffs, higher than large markets like New York, Detroit, and Philadelphia.  However, because Buffalo has the 52nd highest TV market, this means that fewer households are needed to boost its TV ratings.

What does this mean?  That Buffalonians love hockey year-round and are willing to watch no matter who is on the ice.