NHL first round just as predicted

Updated: April 24, 2007, 8:27 AM ET
ESPN.com

There are experts, and there are fans. And then there are NHL fans.

We reviewed the comments posted in response to Scott Burnside's first-round playoff breakdowns and found plenty of predictions. Fan picks were optimistic, homerish, humorous and even thoughtful.

    Buffalo in 3. The Isles will lose one game so badly, that the league will be forced to count is as two wins for the Sabres.
    -- shulaw05 (4/9/2007 at 7:35 AM)

How good were the non-facetious predictions?

Break out the bragging rights. The fans highlighted below should drop the IMHO (in my humble opinion) and tag their second-round predictions IMEO (in my expert opinion).

Thrashers-Rangers
New York, the 4-0 winner, was the fan favorite in this series. Special credit goes to BraveH8R and dmbfan52, who were among the very few in any series brave enough to predict a sweep.

Rangers will sweep this series, because of goaltending. Henrik is the hottest goaltender since February's trade deadline. Jagr is motivated and starting to score more goals, Shanny is here for leadership, the defense is one of the most underrated defense in the league. Nobody talks about them, but the defense led by Michael Rozival and stud, very talened Fedor Tyutin are among the best in the league collectively especially in the second half of the season. The Rangers have a quality engery/checking line wit grit that includes Hollweg, Betts and Orr/Ortmeye depending on scratches and lines. They also have 3 lines capable of scoring in Jagr/Hossa/Nylander, Shanny/Avery/Straka or Callahan/Prucha/Cullen. The team is not like last year when you could shut down the Jagr line, and its lights out for the Rangers. This team is more complete, and what people overlook is the fact that despite being the hottest team in the second half of the season, the rangers did it despite being unhealthy with the loss of Tyutin, Hossa who was arguably the teams hottest scorer at the time, and Rachunek who was scoring timely power play goals. The Rangers in my opinion have a good a chance as any to win the Stanley Cup which would be great for the NHL, but for this series i am predicting a sweep for the Rangers.
-- Cranious1 (4/9/2007 at 5:11 PM)

Ducks-Wild
Twice as many fans picked Minnesota as Anaheim, but the team from California won 4-1.

Boorgard is a cement-head and will have no impact on the Ducks who have more than one heavyweight to take him on. Pronger & Neidermayer will shut-down Gaborik and Demitra. Backstrom better be good because Getzlaf-Perry-Penner are going to look like a freight train running downhill. Ok, Wild fans so your boys had a good last half, big deal! It's money time and they don't have enough to top the Ducks in either speed, skill or toughness. Ducks in FIVE!!
-- sloskater7 (4/11/2007 at 11:33 AM)

Predators-Sharks
San Jose, which won 4-1, had three times as many fans predicting a win as Nashville. Also taking the Sharks in five: flyers2008.

Sharks won't need 7, only 5. Poor Predators wasting big money only to lose to the Sharks again. The Sharks are bigger, faster, stronger and have better goalies. Good bye, Nashville.
-- PacificCoastBear (4/9/2007 at 12:59 AM)

Sabres-Islanders
Buffalo, 4-1 winners, had seven times as many predictions of victory as New York.

Buffalo will not only win the series, but they will win the Cup. Anyone who watche dthe playoffs last year, knows that they did not lose because of lack of skill, heart, or desire. But because we were playing with half of our defensmen out on injury. This year we have a very healthy team and we are looking to finish what we started last year. Sabres in 5 (only because its the playoffs and the Isles will be tough)
-- mbrado87 (4/9/2007 at 11:57 PM)

Devils-Lightning
Twice as many fans picked New Jersey, 4-2 winners, as picked Tampa Bay.

While I hate the Devils, goaltending makes the difference in this one. One of the best ever against a rookie - big advantage NJ. Only hope for Tampa is that the Devils weak offense doesn't generate any good chances - they did only score 6 goals in 4 games against Tampa this season. Devs in 6
-- RWS240 (4/11/2007 at 9:45 AM)

Senators-Penguins
More than four times as many fans favored Pittsburgh, which lost the series 4-1 to Ottawa.

Let's get real here. Not only are the Pens inexperienced, but they're also teenagers. They're not just young players, but TEENAGERS! None of these young superstars like Crosby, Melkin, Staal, have ANY NHL Playoff experience and I will be extremely suprised if they win any more then 2 games by the skin of there teeth in this series. The Sens have experience all the way through the line-up. I agree, Sens in 5.
-- sabres520 (4/9/2007 at 5:09 PM)

Canucks-Stars
Four times as many fans took Vancouver, 4-3 winners, as took Dallas.

I'm shocked by this pick actually. I've been watching Luongo all I can the past few years and I think he's the best in the league (no offense to Brodeur but I live in Philly country so maybe I play him down some). I think Luongo is going to steal the cup for Vancouver. They still have some talent, but not what they had offensively a few years ago. I still don't see anyone beating Luongo 4 times in 7 games. Canucks in 6 or 7.
-- MattCorteseAvsFan (4/9/2007 at 5:26 PM)

Red Wings-Flames
Detroit, which won 4-2, had three times as many fans predicting wins as Calgary.

Im not saying the wings are gunna lose but if kip plays like the stud he is the wings might have a problem this series could go 6 mayb even 7. But in the end the wings will b 2 much to handle wings in 6
-- CORBI7 (4/12/2007 at 2:45 PM)