When the Edmonton Oilers take on the Los Angeles Kings tonight, Richard Bachman will be in net. With “No. 1″ goalie Devan Dubnyk mercifully down with an injured ankle and Jason LaBarbera proving more capable of yelling at teammates and smashing sticks than stopping the puck, the Oilers will go to Bachman against the Kings.
Coach Eakins confirms this morning Richard Bachman will start in net for the #Oilers vs. LA. Dubnyk has an ankle injury.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) October 27, 2013
Originally drafted in the fourth round by the Dallas Stars in 2006, Bachman managed to lock down the backup gig behind Kari Lehtonen over the last two seasons. Dan Ellis is struggling with that job now while Bachman has thrived in his role as No. 1 goalie for the Oklahoma City Barons.
Through eight games in the minors this year, Bachman is 3-4 while posting strong individual stats. His GAA is a rock solid 2.37 and his save percentage is .925. He’s the only netminder in Edmonton’s system with a save percentage higher than .900, and if he can post similar numbers in the NHL he could steal himself an NHL job.
The Oilers need wins right now. It really doesn’t matter who is in net, as long as he’s stopping the puck. This is a big chance for Bachman to make some noise at the NHL level. He’s shown flashes of being a good goaltender while playing in Dallas, but was never a serious contender for the starting gig behind Lehtonen.
With Edmonton struggling to prevent goals, Bachman has an opportunity to really shine. At 26 years-old, he’s just coming into his own as a goalie and could be exactly what the Oilers need right now. He might not be the long-term solution in net, but it’s just one game at a time for this team as it tries to find an identity worth playing behind.