The NHL playoffs will get underway this weekend (and then a few days later for the North division) after one of the more unique regular seasons the league has seen, and the Boston College men’s hockey team will be well represented. Eight former Eagles will skate in the playoffs, including a few that we saw wearing the maroon and gold just a few months ago. Here’s a quick rundown of who’s playing where in case anyone out there is looking for a team to get behind:
St. Louis Blues
The Blues finished a pretty distant fourth in this year’s version of the Western Division, coming in well behind title favorites Colorado and Vegas as well as an exciting Minnesota team. Zach Sanford was an every night player for the Blues this season, finishing the year with 10 goals and 16 points in 52 games, including a goal in the last game of the regular season that broke a long scoring drought.
Steve Santini only saw three games for the Blues this season, all at the end of the season when the Blues had clinched the #4 seed. He had one assist and nine shots on goal in those three games.
Alex Newhook joined an absolutely loaded Avalanche team for the last six games of their season and chipped in to help the Avs finish with the most points in the league. Newhook had three assists in six games and saw some time on the power play as well. The Avalanche are stacked pretty much all over the ice, so it’s nice to see that Newhook was able to step in and contribute right away. He’ll see two former Eagles in his first round matchup when the Avs take on the Blues.
Vegas Golden Knights
Alex Tuch continues to be a solid player year in and year out for Vegas. Tuch finished with 18 goals and 33 points on the year, good for seventh on a team with major championship aspirations. Vegas will have a tough first round matchup, however, as they take on a Minnesota Wild team that has given them fits so far this season.
The Penguins finished first in the East division this season, with two Eagles playing big roles on their blue line. Brian Dumoulin and Mike Matheson put up 14 and 16 points respectively and will look to shut down what has been a slumping New York Islanders team in the first round.
New York Islanders
That Islanders team will include Oliver Wahlstrom, who played his first full NHL season this year. Wahlstrom was good for 12 goals and 21 points in his 44 games, including 4 power play goals which was good for third on the team. The Isles struggled down the stretch, going just 3-4-3 in their final 10 games to end the season, but they’ve made some deep playoff runs in recent seasons.
Finally, Spencer Knight has given the Florida Panthers’ coaching staff something to think about to start the playoffs, as he has been excellent in net in the four games that he has seen action in. Knight put up a perfect 4-0 record to go along with a .919 save percentage to start his NHL career, and despite going up against some strong competition in Sergei Bobrovsky and Chris Driedger, there is a case to be made that Knight should be in net when his team goes up against the defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round.