As the NHL season was about to get under way, the decision was made to send Dallas Stars backup goaltender
Stephen King Richard Bachman down to the AHL team in Austin. Understandably, this was not the ideal situation Bachman would have wanted, after working to earn a spot with Dallas in the previous season.
However, Cristopher Nilstorp had been playing with regularity in Austin during the lockout, and was in midseason form, while Bachman had been idle. The idea behind sending Bachman to the Texas Stars was that he could use the opportunity to get some playing time, rather than sitting on the bench and watching Lehtonen play. That way, should something happen to one of the Dallas goalies, Bachman would be back in form, and ready to go.
Bachman now has his chance to do just that, after barely one week of being in Austin. Nilstorp has been placed on injured reserve, and Bachman has returned to Dallas. Now that he is back, he is ready and willing to prove himself. And with the intensity of the AHL schedule he had during his time there, he should be ready to go at a moment's notice.
"Obviously you want to be up here the whole time, but I took the positives out of it," Bachman said. "I got a chance to play four games and four in a row and in a week's time. That's something I haven't done since I was down there or first called up here are year ago. That was extremely beneficial to kind of get in a rhythm, see a lot of pucks and see a lot of different situations that when you are backing up it would take a month to see all those. To get them all that quick, it was helpful."
Bachman's first game, which was at Peoria on January 19, had its ups and downs, but he and his Texas teammates came away with an 8-4 victory.
"There were good parts, bad parts and OK parts," he said. "I think I had a couple of big saves when I needed to, then a couple of goals I know I should have had. It was nice to get eight goals of support from the guys in front of me, they helped. But it was just nice to get out there. In the first period they kind of came at us, you saw a lot of pucks right away and you jumped right into it. I didn't have time to think about it. It was good."
Over the next three games Bachman allowed just six goals, stopping 79 of 85 shots. With each game, there was an increase in the comfort level.
"You get more comfortable with traffic in front of the net and finding loose pucks in front of the net, seeing guys come with speed down the sides and stuff like that," he said. "It takes a little bit of time to see and get comfortable with, and as you go you get more and more comfortable. I feel like I am in a good spot now."
The circumstances may not be the most ideal, but Bachman will use whatever opportunity he can to remind the coaching staff why he was chosen as the backup during last season. With the condensed schedule the team has this season, he will likely get those chances sooner rather than later.
Coming up in today's links: More news on the Dallas Stars, another RFA signs on the dotted line, and someone decides to crosscheck a referee?
- Last night's loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets was not ideal. Even the players recognize that they underperformed, and have a lot of work ahead of them. [Stars Inside Edge]
- There's not much time to focus on last night's game though, as the Stars are already preparing to face the Red Wings tonight. [Stars Inside Edge]
- Brenden Morrow is trying to be as flexible as possible as he moves up and down the lineup this season. Though it can be frustrating at times when it seems like there's no specific place just for him. [Dallas News]
- The Sharks remain red hot, thanks in part to the play of Patrick Marleau. Through five games, he already has 9 goals. Not a bad pace for a shortened season. [The Globe And Mail]
- Meanwhile, in Phoenix, the most recent deadline for the Coyotes to be officially purchased is approaching. Except that no one knows if it's going to happen for sure. The more things change, the more they stay the same. [AZ Central]
- The battle for the Calder Trophy, given to the NHL Rookie of the Year, should be a good one this year. Greg Wyshynski has a breakdown of the top eight players vying for the title. [Puck Daddy]
- PK Subban signed a 2 year, $5.75 million deal. It's much cheaper and shorter than what most people speculated would happen, but the short term means that Subban can get a much larger payday in another 2 years. [ESPN]
- ESPN has their power rankings out this week. It would seem like most teams are appropriately placed, including the Dallas Stars at 18th. [ESPN]
- Fans have always loved to talk about how visually impaired the refs are when there are terrible calls being made. Well, this assistant coach takes it about 10 steps further by doing his best impression of a ref on the ice. It's something I've never seen before, that's for sure. [Sports Illustrated]
- In today's featured video, Vancouver Canucks player Jannik Hansen gets so mad at the Sharks' actions, that he decides to crosscheck the referee. It's an odd sequence, and bear in mind that this is all before the opening faceoff of the game. The best I can figure out is that he was momentarily confused, and genuinely thought the ref was a Sharks player.