New rule: the bear cape and helmet cannot be worn while eating ice cream. True fans know this; it’s those bandwagoning wannabes who tarnish the image of the bear.

How to be a successful bandwagon fan

If you’ve been faithfully supporting one of the final four teams for years and instinctively crawling into the fetal position during the dark, painful times, then the bandwagon fans who are coming out of the woodwork now are getting pretty annoying. But phony fans hitching a ride and jumping onto your train to glory is an inevitable part of a deep playoff run in any sport, so don’t fight it. Embrace your new-found legion of fans with open arms.

And if you’re on the other side of that fandom coin and find yourself latching onto a team after completely ignoring any kind of allegiance for seven months, then Jesse Singal of the Boston Globe has some bandwagoning advice.

Turns out Guelph is more than just really clean, environmentally friendly, and low on crime

The Southwestern Ontario city that’s rated as one of the top ten places to live in Canada also produces some good hockey players, like Boston’s Rich Peverley.

Seguin finally gets his turn

Bruins forward and 2010 second overall pick Tyler Seguin suits up for his first career playoff game tonight. Seguin will slide in for the concussed Patrice Bergeron after not playing a minute of competitive hockey in 24 days.

Seguin’s play will be scrutinized heavily, which is clearly commonplace under the bright lights of the playoffs, and especially when a high profile rookie is the subject matter. Just ask the 2010 version of P.K. Subban, who only played two regular season games before being thrown onto the Habs’ blueline last spring. But despite any ludicrous barbs Leafs Nation would like to throw at a 19-year-old after one season, the Boston Herald reminds us that reasonable thinking individuals know to expect little from Seguin tonight.

Seguin comes to a major milestone in his career with his first playoff appearance at the Garden tonight in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Remember, this is a kid barely three months past his 19th birthday, who hasn’t played since April 10 and is stepping into the most intense and physical hockey game he’s ever played.

In other words, don’t expect too much.

Role players playing much bigger roles

Earlier this week Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman had a conference call with the media in which he addressed a wide range of questions. One of which was regarding the continued remarkable play of forwards Dominic Moore and Sean Bergenheim.

From Fox Sports South:

“Every year in the playoffs, some of the lesser name players who step up on the teams that advance are guys who play a bigger role. (They’ve) been on the line for the most part with Steve Downie. They didn’t play much during the regular season together but have formed a really effective line for us in the playoffs. The one thing all three of them have in common is they really compete hard. And I think that’s the most significant factor for any player that succeeds in the playoffs….They all have different skills that they’re really strong at and they complement each other very well.”

Tampa has sun, beaches, and bikinis, and is perhaps not suited for a 10-day layoff

It’s impossible to predict how Tampa Bay’s 10-day layoff between rounds and Boston’s eight days without a game will impact Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final. We’re not sports physiologists around here, and we get paid significantly less than anyone with any letters before or after their name.

But Lightning head coach Guy Boucher is a pretty smart dude, and he knows that we could be in for some boring hockey in the first period tonight.

“You can do all the battling you want, all the skating you want. You’ll never get to the level of an NHL playoff game. So the first period for us and for them is going to be a little bit of a shocker.”