Bachman Steals the Crease
Richard Bachman has given Stars faithful relief (AP Photo)
In an earlier blog, I pointed to Andrew Raycroft to save the Stars from Kari Lehtonen's unfortunate run-in with the Injury Ninja. I paid no mind to the man being called up from the struggling Texas Stars, Richard Bachman. After a couple of pretty solid stints in the AHL, it was him that recieved the stick tap to the NHL.
Raycroft struggled a bit before finally being replaced with Bachman. A gutsy move by coach Glen Gulutzan, especially after Raycroft was shellacked by the San Jose Sharks. The Stars have not been on their game, and they needed a spark. Was Bachman that spark?
Over the next three games, the 24-year-old posted 3 wins, a .970 save percentage, and a 0.90 goals against average. He completely mastered the Isles, Rangers and Kings with three spectacular performances. The latest performance against the Devils seemed to be a statistical anomaly at this juncture, as the Stars got blitzed on some of their mistakes, and the fourth-round pick paid for it.
A pivotal road trip paid dividends for the Stars, as they won 3 of 5 games, taking 6 of 10 possible points. Bachman was simply the catalyst for the wins. He is the first goaltender in Dallas Stars history to win his first three starts.
The schedule gets no easier for the Pesky Stars. After a tilt with the struggling Anaheim Ducks, they face the Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday, and the always dangerous Nashville Predators on Friday.
It seems pretty obvious that Glen Gulutzan will continue to go with this newfound hot glove over Raycroft (2-7-0, 3.53, .897) in the upcoming stretch. He may decide to go with Raycroft in the easier game on Monday, but Bachman must start against the Flyers and Predators to give the Stars the best chance to win.
Bachman's good fundamentals need to carry the Stars until Lehtonen gets back. After that, it might be near impossible to send the kid back down after his dominant showing. What does that hold for Raycroft? Nothing positive. The Stars have less and less reason to keep him around as Bachman continues to get acclimated to the NHL.
For now, Richard Bachman will continue to have the spotlight on him, and he must carry the Stars forward through a tough week in the schedule.
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