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Buffalo on ice

Michael Ryder, Andrew Ference, Zdeno Chara, and Mark

Michael Ryder, Andrew Ference, Zdeno Chara, and Mark Recchi of the Boston Bruins celebrate after the third goal scored in the first period against the Vancouver Canucks during Game Six of the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Final. Photo Credit: Getty

Detroit and Boston each fancies itself America’s foremost hockey town – and Boston burnished its case with a whopping 43.4 rating for Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final Wednesday.

That helped make the Bruins’ victory the most-watched NHL game in the U.S. in 38 years (an average of 8.5 million viewers), even with only one American market involved.

But the fairest measure of hockey passion is how much a city cares when it does not have a dog in the fight. And Buffalo consistently scores best by that measure.

Its average of 7.1 percent of homes for the entire final series was far ahead every other non-New England city, including three hockey hotbeds – Detroit (4.2), Pittsburgh (3.9) and Minneapolis (3.5).

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