Did Richard Bachman just win the Oilers’ backup job?

Jonathan Willis
October 28 2013 07:49AM

The Edmonton Oilers have been looking all season for somebody they could count on to play moderately well in net. They didn’t necessarily need a goalie to steal them games, just competent performances that would give the team a chance to win.

They got a lot more than that last night from Richard Bachman.

47 Saves

Regardless of what he does from here on out, Bachman wrote himself into the record books with a 47 save performance on Sunday night. It’s only the fourth time in Oilers history that a goaltender has made 45 saves while allowing one or fewer goals, and it puts Bachman in pretty good company:

  • Bill Ranford on Dec. 8, 1993: Made 45 saves in a 1-1 tie against the New York Rangers.
  • Curtis Joseph on Dec. 10, 1996: Made 52 saves in a 0-0 tie against the Detroit Red Wings.
  • Dwayne Roloson on Mar. 16, 2008: Made 48 saves in a 2-1 win against the San Jose Sharks.
  • Richard Bachman on Oct. 27, 2013: Made 47 saves in a 2-1 shootout loss against the Los Angeles Kings.

Not a bad impression for Bachman to make in his first start for his new team.

The Goaltending Situation

Edmonton faces some tough choices here, because it’s a good bet they don’t want to visit the three-headed goaltending days of years past. Whether it was the Conklin-Markkanen-Morrison trio in 2005-06 or Roloson-Garon-Deslauriers in 2008-09 it never seems to work; not only is roster flexibility reduced but it just doesn’t make sense to carry three guys when one is going to get most of the games.

Devan Dubnyk, who is currently out with a minor injury, seems to be regaining his form of past seasons and based on his long-term track record should get more minutes than either of the Oilers’ other options. After that is where things get interesting.

Jason LaBarbera has been rough in his four starts for Edmonton. Despite some of the comments these days, he was actually quite good in Phoenix (he had a 0.923 save percentage last year and his numbers overall were solid in all four years) and a very reasonable bet for the backup role. The question now is two-fold: a) has he fallen off a cliff at age 33 and b) even if he hasn’t, how long can the Oilers afford to let him find his game?

Richard Bachman has some advantages over LaBarbera. For starters, he costs less against the salary cap; even adding in the $75,000 cost of burying LaBarbera in the minors the Oilers would save $300,000 with him as backup over a full season. Bachman’s also younger (he turned 26 this summer) and has played very well for both Edmonton and Oklahoma this season. The disadvantage is his long-term track record: he’s only been a 0.906 save percentage goalie over 33 NHL games and posted a lousy 0.885 save percentage for Dallas last season.

The Oilers don’t have a lot of time to make a choice. I haven’t seen official confirmation of this, but my guess is that Edmonton recalled Bachman under the 48-hour exemption rule. As Rich Chere of The Star Ledger explains, a team is allowed to recall a goalie for 48 hours without needing to put a mildly injured player on the IR list. If that’s the case, Edmonton’s already almost out of time to make a decision.

Depending on perspective, Bachman’s performance made that decision either extremely easy or extremely difficult.

Around the Nation

Just a reminder to sign up for StreakCred. With October almost over (and the monthly prize of a signed NHL jersey and cash almost won), a new monthly prize is available in November. Sign up here to compete for it.

Also, feel free to check out some of my recent articles:

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
Avatar
#1 Jonathan
October 28 2013, 08:18AM
Trash it!
74
trashes
+1
25
props

Jonathan,

Have you ever thought about actually watching the game?

The game is played on the ice and not the stat sheet.

Dubnyk has been a siv, and the Oilers are not, better than their record, they are their record.

What is sadder than the oilers play of late is the lengths you will contort yourself to defend this team through statistics.

Avatar
#2 Jonathan
October 28 2013, 08:20AM
Trash it!
61
trashes
+1
6
props

Jonathan,

Have you ever thought about actually watching the game?

The game is played on the ice and not the stat sheet.

Dubnyk has been a siv, and the Oilers are not better than their record, they are their record.

What is sadder than the oilers play of late is the lengths you will contort yourself to defend this team through statistics.

Avatar
#3 china town man
October 28 2013, 09:17AM
Trash it!
35
trashes
+1
4
props

Hello!!! the oilers lost yet again , and here we are talking about our goalie having a great game !!! We have a captain who can't rally his team mates, you have young kid's making crap loads of dollars, forgetting what they are getting paid for. Is it time to panic ?

Avatar
#4 Jakethesnake
October 28 2013, 07:53AM
Trash it!
33
trashes
+1
42
props

I believe Bachman just won the starting job Looks better then any other option the Oil has had in net in the past 4 years. Its only one game but I say roll with him

Avatar
#5 Rama Lama
October 28 2013, 10:22AM
Trash it!
24
trashes
+1
8
props

The whole hockey world knows about the the Oilers management and their vision for the team. This starts and ends with Kevin Lowe.........the guy covets skill and has reluctantly drafted size with skill.

It's clear the rela plan all along for this team is to draft Connor McDavid so we need to suck for atleast two more years. Combined with bad luck and injuries we should have no problems drafting high in 2015. Mac T can speed things up by making some trades but Yaks and Hemsky are going to have to go.

I do think that if we ever can play our complete team we have a fair chance to win........but the injuries keep following us around and have gotten worse since KLowe fired his brother and all the other trainers.

Eakis has lost the team........probably never had the team to begin with. Going to be a long year again.

Avatar
#6 Spydyr
October 28 2013, 09:12AM
Trash it!
17
trashes
+1
3
props

Any once else notice Kopitar absolute owning Acro the whole game. Acro's head doesn't even reach Koitar's shoulder.Even so Eakins keep putting him out there to get spanked.Makes me wonder about Eakins ability to manage a game and make adjustments.

Avatar
#7 Oiler Al
October 28 2013, 10:06AM
Trash it!
14
trashes
+1
8
props

I think the team played with some passion and effort last night.

Nuge coming back after getting hit , Jones taking on a gorilla etc, Bachmans play in net, on a back to back road game... they took the game to a shoot out...

I think only questionable links were Hemsky and Jr. Schultz. Hemsky should be providing veteran leadership but is playing like a kid out of junior.

Too bad the fourth line cant grow a pair of -alls and look after business. The most usless fourth line in the NHL>.

PS> Gadzic is another Hordichuk...

Avatar
#8 dougtheslug
October 28 2013, 08:30AM
Trash it!
13
trashes
+1
28
props

This is what it has come to after 5 years of bottom feeding - our team's only hope is that their AHL call-up goalie,(called up because the 2 goalies the astute management signed apparently can't stop a beachball), has a career game. And he does. After getting their collective butts handed to them all over the ice, he stops nearly 50 shots. And they still lose. But they "almost" win. And this "almost" is counted by everyone as a success. And their fitness freak coach says in the post game presser, "I thought we played really well but we ran out of gas". "Really well." What happens if we just play well. Or average.4-1? 8-1?

And now we have to face the Leafs, with a building half full of drunk Leaf fans rubbing it in our faces because they have actually accomplished a rebuild. They actually have a team that is tough to play against. Anyone want my tickets? I can't stomach the thought of going.

Avatar
#9 Harlie
October 28 2013, 09:27AM
Trash it!
13
trashes
+1
2
props

BDO - TCB!!

Bachman Dubnyk Overdrive

Taking Care of Business??

Avatar
#10 Spydyr
October 28 2013, 09:56AM
Trash it!
13
trashes
+1
4
props
Mikey wrote:

So because the other three lines also got out shot, that reflects on Arco abilities to shut down Kopitar?

Obviously everyone got out shot.Bachman shut down Kopitar not Acro.

Avatar
#11 Oiler Al
October 28 2013, 10:15AM
Trash it!
13
trashes
+1
7
props
Spydyr wrote:

When did they make Hemsky a center?Gordon belonged on Kopitar.

Just trying to make a point that Hemsky is flyby cruiser, and as a veteran on the ice he should have displayed more game. This guy is a personified premadonna.

Avatar
#12 Spydyr
October 28 2013, 09:48AM
Trash it!
12
trashes
+1
1
props
Mikey wrote:

So you don't think a rookie nhler holding his own against a proven champion, is decent?

Let's not go into what ifs. The game happened the way it did. Lets reflect on that.

He did not hold his own,He was owned, his goalie bailed him out.It was plain for me to see.Men against boys owned.

Out shot 48-18 owned.That is almost being out shot 3-1.Do you call that holding your own?

Avatar
#13 loweblows
October 28 2013, 11:41AM
Trash it!
12
trashes
+1
3
props

@Jonathan Willis

do most posters here have a mancrush on willis or something?

Avatar
#14 Spydyr
October 28 2013, 09:44AM
Trash it!
11
trashes
+1
1
props
Mikey wrote:

I thought it was a good battle all game. I noticed Arco take down Koptiar twice. What was Kopitar stat sheet? Zeros.

So same as Acro's.If it was not for Bachman doing something only four other Oilers goalie have ever done it would of been a very different story.

Avatar
#15 Spydyr
October 28 2013, 10:07AM
Trash it!
11
trashes
+1
3
props
Mikey wrote:

All right, I guess you didn't actually watch the game. You will say you did, and that's fine. But trust me, you weren't actually watching what happened.

So your argument is I never watched the game?

Go back a read my first comment on this discussion.That is what I saw while watching the game.Not the score sheet saying Acro held Kopitar to no points.What I saw was Acro being owned the whole game and Bachman saving the team.

Avatar
#16 njdevilsfan_!7
October 28 2013, 03:30PM
Trash it!
11
trashes
+1
10
props

Forgive me if I missed this perspective in other's comments. I think that both LaBarbera and Bachman have had pretty decent numbers last year but they both played on teams that are a lot better defensively than the Oilers. I think the bigger problem is the Oiler's defensive system, not their goaltending.

Avatar
#17 Spydyr
October 28 2013, 09:57AM
Trash it!
10
trashes
+1
3
props
Mikey wrote:

So because the other three lines also got out shot, that reflects on Arco abilities to shut down Kopitar?

Obviously everyone got out shot.Bachman shut down Kopitar not Acro.

Avatar
#18 madjam
October 28 2013, 11:30AM
Trash it!
10
trashes
+1
2
props

DID YOU MISS IT ? Oilers in second set of 10 games are 2 wins , a close loss and an unfortuneate shootout loss . That's 5 of 8 points and now going over the .500 mark .Victory over Leafs at home and then another Eastern swing (4-5 games) against their weaker clubs and Oilers should be reeling in the points and gaining massively in the Conference standings . So get your motors running and head out on the highway looking for adventure in whatever comes there way . The boys are now Born to be Wild . Sing it out Oiler fans . If they collapse , which I doubt , however , we can always sing that other Rolling Stones song - "19th nervous breakdown " . The boys have snuck up on us and are turning the corner to respectability and wins in this second 10 game stint . All day sit and win , spin there web as they draw you in , spin ,spin , spin ,spin !

Avatar
#19 Shredder
October 28 2013, 09:32AM
Trash it!
9
trashes
+1
9
props

I'm personally done with letting Dubnyk prove himself at the NHL level...he's a good backup. End of story. Labarbera shouldn't be allowed to find his game where it's costing the teams wins. Give Bachman the job. He’s earned the job over the other two. One of them can go down to the AHL to find their game. I’m sure no one will pick them up off of waivers, but if they do, I’m not too worried about it, because a goalie who’s playing sub .900 shouldn’t be the make-or-break player for this team (and as of right now they’re breaking it). Bachman was stellar last night, and I like his style a lot more: reflexes, move to make the save, not just be a big guy in net and stay in front of the puck like Duby. I used to be a big supporter of Dubnyk, but he’s just not doing his job well. If Brodeur can work to earn his ice time, so can Duby/Bach/Labarbera.

Avatar
#20 watkinator
October 28 2013, 11:37AM
Trash it!
9
trashes
+1
4
props

It surprises me that LaBarbera isn't getting the same consideration as Dubnyk: he has history that he's not living up to. He's going to regress back up towards his career numbers. Dubnyk played terrible for 4 games, that's how many LaBarbera has played. He's due for a regression. I'm completely for giving Bachman some more starts, he's completely earned them, but the level of this overreaction is more of a tell about the emotional state of Oilers fans than it is of LaBarbera's ability to be a decent backup. Make Bachman earn the backup role before you toss or demote the man.

Avatar
#21 Cynic
October 28 2013, 09:49AM
Trash it!
8
trashes
+1
2
props

I suppose when your self-esteem depends on whether the blue and orange laundry wins a game, you'll hold on to any desperate slice of hope. So Bachmann winning a game comes at a good time. Who do the Oilers plan to draft at No. 1 this year? Are they any more under-sized, fragile, perimeter-playing forwards to grab?

Avatar
#22 vetinari
October 28 2013, 07:58AM
Trash it!
7
trashes
+1
41
props

Waive LaBarbera and send him down, and give Bachman the backup role, with the potential to move up if he can beat Dubie's numbers.

Avatar
#24 spliff
October 28 2013, 09:25AM
Trash it!
7
trashes
+1
12
props

Just read Gregor's column in the Journal, which criticized the Oilers rebuild. IAFT that our local press started hammering the braintrust. When I read the article it really hit home how screwed up this organization is. They don't need a miracle cure like Bachman to stand on his head every night, they need a Burke type guy to sit the big chair and make some ballsey moves to get this team going in the right direction. Look what happened in Montreal, which proves that a skilled manager can make a difference quickly.

After years of buying into the managements BS and giving them the benefit of the doubt, I can now safely say that I have absolutely no faith in MacT, KLowe, Howson or any other member of this so-called management group. That absolute schlaking we took last night reminded me of 4 years ago, which proves that we have not improved. F*ck the stats, does anyone really feel that we have improved?

Avatar
#25 Spydyr
October 28 2013, 09:34AM
Trash it!
6
trashes
+1
7
props
Manfly wrote:

Dallas wants to see how well his smaller, talented forwards do against the bigger opposing forwards. Arco against Kopitar...not so well. and Nuge against a much heavier Nick Backstrom against the Caps last game they played...not so well. he got bounced around pretty good too. Dallas tends to over coach a bit sometimes, but he's not the problem.

I would much prefer if Eakins coached to, you know, win the game.

Avatar
#26 Spydyr
October 28 2013, 10:15AM
Trash it!
6
trashes
+1
8
props
Bubba wrote:

Bachman should be a contender for backup consideration....Maybe even starter material. One game doesn't make the man, but the l'il bugger sure looked good.

All Bachman earned so far is the next start and if he plays well the next and the next.Until he has a bad game.

Avatar
#27 BIGDAWG
October 28 2013, 10:31AM
Trash it!
6
trashes
+1
7
props

WTF has happened to our PP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! geezuz effin crips already... that's all I have for now.........wait......... how are the flamers doing?? n/m.... sigh.. 1030am.... where is the rye? eff it im getting drunk

Avatar
#28 @Oilanderp
October 28 2013, 08:18AM
Trash it!
5
trashes
+1
23
props

By eye the Oilers played half decent in front of him (as far as that can be said when getting peppered), but Bachman certainly earned another chance. I wouldn't wave Barbs though...

Avatar
#29 Doug
October 28 2013, 08:21AM
Trash it!
5
trashes
+1
13
props

I honeslty don't care who is in net....just stop the damn puck!

If its Labby, Dubby or Bach........pick 2 and go with it.

The problem is it may already be too late to turn the season around.

The Kings proved last night that the Oilers are too small. They need bigger, heavier bodies to compete in their division.

Once you pick 2 goalies it may be time for MacT to move one of the skilled kids to get some size that can play. I would never have said that going into this season but it seems inevitable this needs to happen.

Avatar
#30 Mik
October 28 2013, 09:17AM
Trash it!
5
trashes
+1
11
props

Back-up? How about the starting job!!

Avatar
#31 Spydyr
October 28 2013, 09:58AM
Trash it!
5
trashes
+1
4
props
Oiler Al wrote:

Yes, with your brainy ideas, you would probably send Hemsky out to shadow Kopitar. At least Arco, is trying, unlike some of the other guys with size , doing nothing. The fourth line is a waste of time.

When did they make Hemsky a center?Gordon belonged on Kopitar.

Avatar
#32 BingBong
October 28 2013, 09:05AM
Trash it!
4
trashes
+1
18
props

If Bachman can play that like on a semi-consisent basis, he won the starting job, let alone the backup. He looked more comfortable out there than Dubnyk ever has, even when Dubnyk's played well.

Avatar
#33 Harry
October 28 2013, 12:09PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
+1
7
props
Jonathan wrote:

Jonathan,

Have you ever thought about actually watching the game?

The game is played on the ice and not the stat sheet.

Dubnyk has been a siv, and the Oilers are not, better than their record, they are their record.

What is sadder than the oilers play of late is the lengths you will contort yourself to defend this team through statistics.

You are exactly right on with your comments.

Furthermore JW, are you saying with your title of this writeup that Edmonton has a starting goalie? I have yet to see one.

I hope bachman makes Dubnyk regret wasting the trillion chances this management team has given him.

Avatar
#34 pkam
October 28 2013, 01:35PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
+1
4
props
Rama Lama wrote:

The whole hockey world knows about the the Oilers management and their vision for the team. This starts and ends with Kevin Lowe.........the guy covets skill and has reluctantly drafted size with skill.

It's clear the rela plan all along for this team is to draft Connor McDavid so we need to suck for atleast two more years. Combined with bad luck and injuries we should have no problems drafting high in 2015. Mac T can speed things up by making some trades but Yaks and Hemsky are going to have to go.

I do think that if we ever can play our complete team we have a fair chance to win........but the injuries keep following us around and have gotten worse since KLowe fired his brother and all the other trainers.

Eakis has lost the team........probably never had the team to begin with. Going to be a long year again.

So picking Hall over Seguin is reluctant to draft size with skill?

So the real plan is to draft McDavid, so they purposely finished higher to skip Mackinon and Jones?

If I am correct, Kevin Lowe gired his brother at the end of 2010-11. Do we have a season which the injury is worse than the 530 man game lost in 2009-10?

So the injury is Lowe's fault whether he fired the medical and training staff or not.

And if he didn't fired his brother, it is all his buddy and old boy club. If he did, then he is so cruel and mean that he even sacrificed his brother.

Damn you do and damn you don't, right?

Avatar
#35 GoofyGoon69
October 28 2013, 07:56AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
+1
44
props

One game doesn't tell it but so far he has

Avatar
#36 Spydyr
October 28 2013, 09:09AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
+1
23
props

If Bachman does not get the next start.The "braintrust" is even more stunned then I thought and I did not think that was possible.

Avatar
#37 Retsinnab5
October 28 2013, 09:12AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
+1
63
props

I hope Bachman starts Bach to Bach games.

Avatar
#38 Spydyr
October 28 2013, 09:35AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
+1
6
props
** wrote:

I loved BAchman's game. The problem is, if this was a one off and he starts playing worse than LABarbera, and Labarbera gets waved today, then the Oilers are even more screwed than they were before. Having said that, It is hard to fathom that Bachman will do worse than LaBarbera's numbers this season.

Who do you think will pick up Labarbera .The rest of the NHL is not that stunned.He sucks.

Avatar
#39 Jakethesnake
October 28 2013, 09:56AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
+1
9
props

The Oilers have to start treating their players like a commodity That is after all what they are If you can't perform you get moved. If I can't do my job do you think I stay where I'm at NO

Avatar
#40 My seats resemble a broom closet.
October 28 2013, 09:57AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
+1
9
props
Doug wrote:

I honeslty don't care who is in net....just stop the damn puck!

If its Labby, Dubby or Bach........pick 2 and go with it.

The problem is it may already be too late to turn the season around.

The Kings proved last night that the Oilers are too small. They need bigger, heavier bodies to compete in their division.

Once you pick 2 goalies it may be time for MacT to move one of the skilled kids to get some size that can play. I would never have said that going into this season but it seems inevitable this needs to happen.

Thanks Captain Obvious !! teams aren't trading big forwards, even if you are going to substantially over pay. Big players don't grow on trees. They're like "bonified" starting goalies(although, it has been quite some time since we've seen one in these parts). Even then, knowledgeable players won't come here. This organization is a complete and utter gongshow. The Oiler brass are more worried about putting on a tv show than building this team correctly. The scouts seem to be addressing the problem but only time will tell. We are paying for years of bad drafting and inept management. Please Mr. Messier, will u being us back to glory. We asked 6 rings, but said rings must be plugging ears.

Avatar
#41 2004Z06
October 28 2013, 10:07AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
+1
5
props
Mik wrote:

I agree 100%. This was totally verified vs the Caps in Edm. You have last change! Match the lines. Why put your ripe, young stars against the crafty veteran stars? Showed on the stats sheets, all 3 were -4 each.

It's your top line! These guys need to be able to hold there own against the other teams top lines. You can't shelter them forever! Time for them to learn to play with the big boys!

Avatar
#42 ed in edmonton
October 28 2013, 12:48PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
+1
2
props
Oiler Al wrote:

Just trying to make a point that Hemsky is flyby cruiser, and as a veteran on the ice he should have displayed more game. This guy is a personified premadonna.

Story of Hemsky's career. One never knows what he will bring from one night to the next.

Avatar
#43 Manfly
October 28 2013, 02:20PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
+1
3
props
Smokey wrote:

On pace for 40-50 points as a second line winger that is killing penalties.

^good, i wonder what we could get for him as well as Yak and Ebs? seems Buffalo did quite well trading Vanek. a good roster player, 1st rounder this year, 2nd rounder next year. just sayin.....

Avatar
#44 Oiler Al
October 28 2013, 02:55PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
+1
1
props
Smokey wrote:

On pace for 40-50 points as a second line winger that is killing penalties.

Hey Smokey, thanks for the tip, now I know why the P K is so terrible.

Dont wish him any bad luck, but his track record is such that he will probably be injured before he has a shot at 50 points.

Avatar
#45 MessyEH!
October 28 2013, 09:09AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
31
props

This might be the day we remember. Roy 86 or Ranford 89. When a goalie takes the reins away from the starter and never turns back.

The starter position is yours for the taking. You look out for #1.You take care of business.

Avatar
#46 Ziom
October 28 2013, 09:17AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
12
props

The Oilers got manhandled last night. This guy prevented this game from being a 7-1 collapse. Its only one game, but I say keep him in, until the .880 save percentage creeps in.

Avatar
#47 Spydyr
October 28 2013, 09:20AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
17
props
Ziom wrote:

The Oilers got manhandled last night. This guy prevented this game from being a 7-1 collapse. Its only one game, but I say keep him in, until the .880 save percentage creeps in.

Lots of goalies come into their own at 26.He was the best goalie at camp and was only sent down because of the"braintrusts" bad habit of picking the team before camp.

Avatar
#48 Manfly
October 28 2013, 09:25AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
11
props
Spydyr wrote:

Any once else notice Kopitar absolute owning Acro the whole game. Acro's head doesn't even reach Koitar's shoulder.Even so Eakins keep putting him out there to get spanked.Makes me wonder about Eakins ability to manage a game and make adjustments.

Dallas wants to see how well his smaller, talented forwards do against the bigger opposing forwards. Arco against Kopitar...not so well. and Nuge against a much heavier Nick Backstrom against the Caps last game they played...not so well. he got bounced around pretty good too. Dallas tends to over coach a bit sometimes, but he's not the problem.

Avatar
#49 Mikey
October 28 2013, 10:02AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
13
props
Spydyr wrote:

Obviously everyone got out shot.Bachman shut down Kopitar not Acro.

All right, I guess you didn't actually watch the game. You will say you did, and that's fine. But trust me, you weren't actually watching what happened.

Avatar
#50 GTL
October 28 2013, 10:07AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
9
props

Keep him!...hire Dwayne Roloson as a goal coach. He did well with training and heart....he hated to loose. I see no hate or emotion on this squad.... And give Roloson frequent flyer points to OKC to guide the next ones. Really ....has DD improved over the last two yrs?

Comments are closed for this article.