While it may be easier for me to discuss the Vancouver Canucks and their 2-1 victory over the Dallas Stars in game four of their NHL playoff series (thanks, in part, to a disallowed goal late in the third period), the focus of this post pertains to a couple of other hockey teams fighting over the chance to hoist the Stanley Cup.

Unlike most of the other playoff series, the Minnesota Wild did not bounce back in game two. The way things have been going in this matchup, particularly with the performance of Bryzgalov, it looked like my playoff prediction of a first round sweep was really going to come to fruition tonight in Wild country. Unfortunately for the Ducks of Anaheim, things didn’t go according to plan. The Minnesota fought back, beat the quacking ones with authority (4-1), and forced a game five to take place back near Disneyland

On the other side of the NHL, I’m surprised to see the Lightning doing so well against Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils. But that’s not the biggest surprise coming out the NHL’s Eastern Conference. My pick was that the Atlanta Thrashers would eliminate the New York Rangers in just five games. Oh my, how wrong I was! Not only are the Rangers up 3-0 on the series… they won game three by shutting out the Thrashers seven to zip. That’s utter domination. It’s also very bad for my NHL playoff pool picks as Marian Hossa has done absolutely nothing.

The 2007 NHL playoffs are shaping up to be one of the best ones in years. Is it time for the Canucks to shine? We’ll find out on Thursday when the playoff series returns to GM Place in Vancouver for game six, where the Canucks have an opportunity to capture their spot in the second round against an opponent yet to be determined.