Photo by Steven Christy
Richard Bachman, after playing the second most minutes and facing the second most shots for goaltenders in the AHL, was called up to the Edmonton Oilers this week to assist the ailing Devan Dubnyk, and perhaps entice more potency from the goaltending duo in the NHL. He played exceptionally well, made 47 saves, gave up one regulation goal, but ultimately ended the night in defeat at the hands of the LA Kings, 2-3 in a shootout. But it was a victory for Richard Bachman nonetheless. Dejavu, all over again.
Bachman has carried a 3-4-1 record with the Oklahoma City Barons since the beginning of the AHL season in early October. He has indeed played high minutes and faced many many shots, but that record – woof. What you saw transpire in LA on Sunday night was exactly how things have occured in the AHL this season.
Richard Bachman plays a very good, cool-as-a-cucumber style where very little gets over his head, and very little goes around his edges. Quite frankly, he looks like the player that dominated the Barons for several seasons when he was a member of the Texas Stars. But here’s the deal, Bachman needs help.
Taking nearly 50 shots in an NHL is insane. Not because the number is so high, but because a defense allowed that many shots to make it through the lanes. Inexcusable.
This isn’t the first time (and probably not the last) Bachman has faced a high shot total in the last two weeks. Here’s the game-by-game shot totals he has faced while a member of the Oklahoma City Barons (for comparison, OKC shot totals in parentheses)
Start #1 – 32 (34)
Start #2 – 26 (24)
Start #3 – 29 (27)
Start #4 – 23 (36)
*Start #5 – 44 (28)
Start #6 – 30 (30)
Start #7 – 39 (26)
*Barons actually won this game by a goal
Mid to low 20’s is probably the norm, and you can see that number has been tallied twice. The defense in front of the Barons number one goaltender is good, but prone to bad play. The team has 10 games under their belt, are under .500, 3rd in the West Division, 9th in the Western Conference. If the Barons want to have success, it will rely heavily on the defense stepping up, and the offense finding its rhythm.