Bachman's recent success brings reward

When Kari Lehtonen limped towards the locker rooms in November, Stars fans were very concerned about what would happen to their results without him. With a very inconsistent Andrew Raycroft waiting in the wings to steal the spotlight, the Stars really needed to find a goalie that would see them through the tough period without Lehtonen.

The Stars had to give Raycroft a try for a few games but he struggled a lot and showed that he wasn’t capable of taking on the starting role successfully. This lead to a lot of fans demanding him to be replaced by Richard Bachman, who had been playing pretty well for the Texas Stars in the AHL. Bachman stole the headlines with a shutout at Madison Square Garden over the Rangers and Glen Gulutzan never looked back.

Richard Bachman has started eight games for the Stars so far and grabbed five wins in the process. With a .912 save percentage, Bachman is also the only goalie to get a shutout in Stars colours this season. His recent efforts have earned him a back-up role to Kari Lehtonen, with Andrew Raycroft being placed on waivers. There have been mixed opinions on Bachman playing a back-up role as some people feel this may hinder his develop because he won't be getting as much ice time as he would if was playing in Austin for the AHL side.

After missing 12 games due to a groin injury, Finnish goaltender Kari Lehtonen returns in net tomorrow night against Columbus to give the Stars fans a late Christmas present. Lehtonen, who was drafted by the Thrashers in 2002, had a sublime start to the campaign, recording a record of 13-4-1 and just over two goals against on average. Despite Bachman filling in pretty well, the Stars have missed the 28 year old massively; especially on the penalty kill, which as been a huge concern of late.

Dallas return to action tomorrow night against the struggling Columbus Blue Jackets who sit bottom of the Western conference with just nine wins so far. Experienced defenseman Stephan Robidas, who has been out for the past three games, was placed on IR today with a lower body injury.