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NHL Playoff Bandwagons For Boston College Fans

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The NHL playoffs get underway tonight

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL playoffs get underway tonight with four games, and as usual, there's no shortage of Boston College alumni to root for. I now present my BC fan bandwagon hierarchy:

1. Calgary Flames

First round matchup: vs. Vancouver
Game 1: Wednesday, 10 PM @ VAN
Game 2: Friday, 10 PM @ VAN
Game 3: Sunday, 10 PM vs. VAN
Game 4: Next Tuesday, 10 PM vs. VAN
Games 5, 6 & 7 if necessary: Thu 4/23, Sat 4/25, Mon 4/27

I hear you, Rangers fans. I know there's a strong case to make for the Rangers as the #1 bandwagon team here. But I'm going with Calgary, because Johnny Gaudreau has been one of the true stars and focal points for a resurgent Flames team that suddenly finds itself in the playoffs this year after years in the cellar. Because Gaudreau is so central to the Flames story, he's likely to get a lot of credit should Calgary go on a run.

2. New York Rangers

First round matchup: vs. Pittsburgh
Game 1: Thursday, 7 PM vs. PIT
Game 2: Saturday, 8 PM vs. PIT
Game 3: Monday, 7 PM @ PIT
Game 4: Wednesday 4/22, 7 PM @ PIT
Game 5, 6, & 7 if necessary: Fri 4/24, Sat 4/26, Mon 4/28

With both Chris Kreider and Kevin Hayes helping lead the  charge, and a Presidents' Trophy championship team at the ready, the Rangers look like the likeliest team to deliver a cup to a BC alum. Kevin Hayes in particular has been an incredible story to follow this year; I don't think anyone expected him to be so good so soon, but here we are.

3. Pittsburgh Penguins

First round matchup: vs. Rangers
Game 1: Thursday, 7 PM @ NY
Game 2: Saturday, 8 PM @ NY
Game 3: Monday, 7 PM vs. NY
Game 4: Wednesday 4/22, 7 PM vs. NY
Game 5, 6, & 7 if necessary: Fri 4/24, Sat 4/26, Mon 4/28

Like the Rangers, the Penguins also have two BC reps - Brian Dumoulin and veteran Rob Scuderi, who helped win a cup for Pittsburgh in 2009.

4. Tampa Bay Lightning

First round matchup: vs. Detroit
Game 1: Thursday, 7:30 PM vs. DET
Game 2: Saturday, 3:00 PM vs. DET
Game 3: Tuesday, 7:00 PM @ DET
Game 4: Thursday 4/23, 7:00 PM @ DET
Games 5, 6, & 7 if necessary: Sat 4/25, Mon 4/27, Wed 4/29

The Lightning are one of two teams competing in the first round with one BC alum - Brian Boyle. I give them the edge in the bandwagon hierarchy because Brooks Orpik already has a cup.

5. Washington Capitals

First round matchup: vs. Islanders
Game 1: Wednesday, 7 PM vs. NYI
Game 2: Friday, 7 PM vs. NYI
Game 3: Sunday, 12 PM @ NYI
Game 4: Tuesday, 7:30 PM @ NYI
Games 5, 6 & 7 if necessary: Thu 4/23, Sat 4/25, Mon 4/27

Brooks Orpik seeks another ring, this time for the Washington Capitals.

6. St. Louis Blues

First round matchup: vs. Wild
Game 1: Thursday, 9:30 PM vs MIN
Game 2: Saturday, 3 PM vs MIN
Game 3: Monday, 8 PM @ MIN
Game 4: Wednesday, 9:30 PM @ MIN
Games 5, 6 & 7 if necessary: Friday, Sunday, Wednesday

This is a "maybe" as Benn Ferriero plays for St Louis's AHL team. Given that he's made cameo playoff appearances in the past when he was with San Jose, it's not impossible to think he might appear at some point depending on injuries, etc. He also could end up on the practice squad that gets to practice with the team during the playoffs and gets to be on the ice when the Cup is lifted.

T-7 through 15. Literally anyone else

16. Montreal Canadiens

Because screw Montreal.