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A Fan’s Guide to Jumping on the Stanley Cup Playoff Bandwagon: Previewing NHL Teams to Support

The anticipation for the playoffs is building as we await the final matchups to determine the 16 teams that will be competing. If your team is in, you’re probably too nervous to read this, consumed by the excitement and anxiety of the upcoming games. Playoffs, here we come!

For the fans of the remaining 16 teams who have spent the season strategizing for a brighter future, the time has come to decide which team to support in the upcoming weeks and months. You have the option to remain neutral, watch your team’s rivals with disdain, or selectively choose which series to follow and root for as a temporary fan.

However, there’s another intriguing option: hopping on the bandwagon of a team for the duration of the playoffs. It provides a glimpse into the experience of supporting a team through their highs and lows, and when your chosen team gets eliminated, you can easily transition to supporting another.

If you’re considering joining a bandwagon, I’ve ranked all 16 playoff teams from the least to the most appealing options to help you make your decision.


Golden Knights: The defending champions have a controversial reputation due to their quick rise and trading tactics. Easy pass for bandwagon fans.

Lightning: Despite being a strong team, their recent success and lack of underdog status make them a less exciting bandwagon choice.

Kings: Peaking early and lacking the underdog factor, they may not be the most thrilling team to support.

Islanders: With a low-scoring game style, they might not provide the excitement that bandwagon fans seek.

Avalanche: While being a powerhouse team, their tough first matchup and recent championship victory may deter bandwagon enthusiasts.

Panthers: Despite their strong performance, their controversial roster may affect bandwagon fans’ enjoyment.

Rangers: The top team in the league with a talented roster, but their statistical performance raises concerns for bandwagon supporters.

Maple Leafs: A team with a history of postseason failures, which might make bandwagon fans hesitant to join.

Predators: An underdog story with unique strategies, but their U2 connection might become repetitive.

Bruins: A likable team with potential and quirky player traits, but certain player behaviors may put off bandwagon fans.

Capitals: A true underdog story with an unexpected playoff spot, making them an intriguing bandwagon choice.

Oilers: A strong team with an inspiring narrative, appealing to bandwagon fans seeking excitement.

Canucks: A skilled team with an exciting play style and a long-standing Cup drought, offering an attractive bandwagon opportunity.

Hurricanes: A top team in the conference with entertaining players and a captivating comeback story, ideal for bandwagon fans.

Jets: From potential rebuild to remarkable season, a team with Vezina-worthy goalie and passionate fan base, making them a compelling bandwagon option.

Stars: A skilled and entertaining team with a genuine shot at the Cup, appealing to bandwagon fans with their compelling narratives and exciting roster.

(Photo of Mark Stone and Connor McDavid: Ethan Miller / Getty Images)

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