With the regular season over, it’s time for players around the league to be evaluated for their effectiveness and their value to a team. We’ll be doing the same thing throughout the month of May, and we’d love to hear your opinions on our grading.
We’ll travel through the team in numerical order this year and we’ll hit every individual that was on the roster as of Saturday April 27; the official end of the Stars season.
Backup goalies don’t often get the recognition they deserve, and when you’ve got a goalie like Kari Lehtonen to back up, it’s hard to stand out; especially when you’re also responsible for net-minding for the franchise’s farm team when called upon.
That was the challenge presented to Richard Bachman at the beginning of the season, and despite a down-the-middle season as backup for Dallas, his performance in Austin showcased what Bachman has the potential to do between the pipes.
The 25-year-old from Salt Lake City, UT joined the Dallas Stars organization in 2009, taking up residence between the pipes for eight games. He broke even with four wins and four losses, but posted a .923 save average and a goals allowed against average of just 2.15. He finished the season with the Idaho Steelheads, taking wins in 22 of the 35 games he appeared in, and recording a .910 save percentage. Last year, with Lehtonen battling injuries, Bachman hit Dallas ice for 18 games, taking eight wins, five losses and sending two games to overtime. He broke records that year, as the first rookie to play seven consecutive games and to win each of the first three games he started in net.
This season was the worst of Bachman’s NHL career, finishing the season with a .888 save percentage and a 3.25 goals against average. But in Austin, it was a different story. In just six games in Austin, Bachman went 5-1 with 2.31 goals allowed against and a .920 save average. With just 20 goals under his belt for Dallas and Texas combined though, he allowed almost 50 goals.
Everyone is allowed a slump in performance now and then, and the only thing Stars fans can hope for is that this season was a short-lived slump for Bachman, who has proven reliable when Lehtonen needs to rest. But because of his struggles this season, I give Richard Bachman a C.
Goals Allowed: C
Save Percentage: C
On-ice presence and performance: B