Photo by Steven Christy
UPDATE: Per those at practice today. Richard Bachman is indeed headed out. University of Central Oklahoma goaltender filling in as number two likely until a true backup can be brought in.
The Edmonton Oilers are three games in. Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins missed last night’s game with undisclosed ailments. Viktor Fasth was plauged by a groin injury after playing through 15:00, giving up three goals on eleven shots. It’s not the start the Oilers wanted nor is it helpful to OKC, but in the end, we remember there is depth on the farm. That’s good news.
The OKC Barons have played one single game to date in the 14-15 minor league campaign. The lopsided scheduling tactics of a “weekend” league have drug the Barons to San Antonio for game one, then back home nearly a full week later to play a Friday/Saturday two-some. They’ll face Texas on Friday, and San Antonio on Saturday. With the upcoming games comes a deep breathe, and kind words (although forced) for the Oilers. It appears that in Fasth’s absence (currently listed as day-to-day) that Richard Bachman is the candidate to replace him in the NHL roster.
Losing Bachman is a big deal because he is the team’s rock. In game one he played a full 63:00, let in three goals on thirty shots, and forced the game into overtime. This secured the Barons at least one point, and gave us some encouraging thoughts. He did this throughout the entire duration of 13-14.
In comes Laurent Brossoit as number one, a relatively new face to the OKC Barons (traded for Olivier Roy, seems like the Oilers won that trade thus far). He played eight bumpy games in OKC last season, but 35 really good ones in Bakersfield. He has good movement, quick feet, increasingly strong net presence, but lord does he give up a ton of rebounds. But he knows this, and he knows how to fix it. The goaltending coaches, both from Edmonton and in OKC, really worked with him in the preseason. Rebound control came up more than once, and anyone who has watched him play knows that this has been an issue.
Goaltender number two is likely Tyler Bunz, who was recently assigned to the now ECHL-turned squad in Wichita. He hasn’t played game minutes in quite some time after fracturing his larynx last season. THIS might keep him from getting minutes, and thus Ty Rimmer comes a knockin’. Either way, the prospect level of goaltending on the farm becomes REALLY important, and REALLY high profile.
A side note. I always like Bachman playing against the Stars, a team he played for, within an organization that drafted him in 2006. He always plays “up”.
In the end, good luck to Richard Bachman. He deserves the time. He has earned it. Coach Todd Nelson often refers to him as “an NHL goaltender playing in the AHL” and I suppose we will find out if that is true in the coming days.