NHL Playoff Blog Beat – Wednesday, May 1, 2013.

More playoff previews, predictions and reviews as the NHL’s 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs begin.

Who should bandwagon playoff fans cheer for this season?

Who should bandwagon playoff fans cheer for this season?

GRANTLAND: Katie Baker with her playoff preview, while Sean McIndoe has advice for bandwagon fans on which playoff clubs to cheer for.

BACKHAND SHELF: Jake Goldsbie with a helpful guide on how to stay sane during the playoffs. I wouldn’t recommend heavy alcohol consumption, but it has worked for me.

PENSION PLAN PUPPETS: A reaction to the hissy fit raised by some Toronto pundits because media-shy Phil Kessel recently blew them off.

THE HOCKEY WRITERS: Joseph Vito DeLuca on the Sabres epic season-ending PR failure, which included raising ticket prices despite missing the playoffs.

LIGHTHOUSE HOCKEY: The User Manual for the 2013 NY Islanders Bandwagon. Caution: may be unsafe at any speed.

DRIVING PLAY: Analysis of shot differentials by NHL teams from 1995 to 2013. Bottom line: teams which outshoot their opponents make the playoffs, proving Wayne Gretzky’s adage that you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.

THE PREDATORIAL: The pros and cons of the Predators retaining or trading their first round pick (fourth overall) in this year’s entry draft. I say they keep it and land a goalscorer.

DIE BY THE BLADE: The shortened NHL season was actually pretty good.

GREATEST HOCKEY LEGENDS: On this date in 1982, “Towel Power” was born, courtesy of Roger Nielson and the Vancouver Canucks.

HOCKEY TIME MACHINE: Meet Marguerite Norris, the first female executive in NHL history.

DOBBER HOCKEY: Rick Roos lists several more players for fantasy hockey GMs to downgrade for next season.

PUCKS, GUTS AND GLORY: NHL history girl Jen has a touching story about former Rangers tough guy Nick Fotiu and his marshmallow heart.