The backs of hockey goalkeepers make for great buses – particularly those long big red city buses running up and down Wilshire Boulevard, the ones with the grey-colored accordions in the middle. These goalkeepers, like the L.A. city buses, are flexible enough to turn a man into the human slinky during games, yet they are also big enough to carry a lot of people long distances.

In the NHL’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, time and again a goalkeeper has carried his team to the Holy Grail of sports. Local hockey fans down in Anaheim certainly understand this mantra, what with Jean-Sébastien Giguère willing the Ducks to a near cup victory in 2003 before actually crossing the threshold in 2007.

For a moment, Jonas Hiller appeared to be the second coming of Giguère. After all, thanks to Hiller, the Ducks knocked the top-seeded, President’s Trophy-winning San Jose Sharks off their mantle and sent them withering away into the ocean quicker than the entire Silicon Valley did during the dot-com bust.

In the second round, it seemed like Hiller was onto something, what with helping his Ducks twice beat the next best team the NHL had to offer in the Detroit Red Wings.

Of course, this is the same Hiller who allowed the Wings to score six goals on Thursday night (May 7) in the game four battle at Anaheim’s Honda Center – sacrificing an opportunity to put the defending Stanley Cup champions on the ropes by taking a commanding three games to one lead in the best-of-seven series.

Yeah, this is the same Hiller who allowed the Dallas Stars to tie the game with 13 seconds remaining in the home finale – with a playoff berth still at stake.

To be fair, Hiller is not completely to blame – obviously, the Ducks defense has as much to do with allowing six goals at home in a key playoff game as anyone else. Without taking anything away from Hiller, a playoff goalie who allows six goals in a game where his team could have grabbed the Red Wings you-know-where and taken a commanding series lead, well, it just makes me wonder whether the Ducks really have the chops to ride its goalie all the way to the promised land.

Sure, this is a series of two evenly matched teams. Indeed, the Ducks are probably one of the best No. 8 seeds to ever play the game. Predictably, this series will probably go the distance.

But still, the Ducks had a chance to be in complete control. With a home victory, Anaheim would have led the series three games to one. Statistically speaking, 90 percent of hockey playoff teams leading three games to one advance to the next round. Such great control was at stake in game four.

Yet here we are – all even in a series of two evenly matched teams. Sure, it may be the best place to be, especially if you are a Wings (or Kings) fan. But I am sure Hiller is not quite happy giving up a whopping six goals. Worst yet, the Ducks’ odds of advancing to the Western Conference Finals dropped from about 90 percent to exactly 50 percent – although I say the odds are lower, considering two of the next three games are at Joe Louis Arena.

Sure, a 50-50 shot at being among the final four teams standing is not such a bad thing. Just do not say anything about it to Hiller, especially if the Ducks fail to win at least one more game on the road.

This series is clearly far from over – thanks to Hiller. Sure, he may be just like that large, spiffy city bus. Yet, that bus really is not going that far, since it is stuck somewhere in traffic and is delaying is passengers to their ultimate destinations.

By this time next week, Hiller may just become another statistic and fail to get his team to its final destination on time.

Game five of the Red Wings vs. the Ducks is at 2 p.m. May 10 in Anaheim.