Dallas Stars: Andrew Raycroft

The Dallas Stars have told goaltender Andrew Raycroft that he will placed on waivers Wednesday morning, clearing the way for Kari Lehtonen to be activated for Thursday's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Lehtonen, who suffered a groin injury in a November 26 game at Phoenix, has missed the last 12 games.

If Raycroft clears waivers on Thursday morning, he would be assigned to the Texas Stars of the AHL.

The Stars' decision means that Richard Bachman will take over as the backup to Lehtonen. Bachman has posted a 5-2-0 record, 2.76 goals against average and .912 save percentage in nine games since being called up to Dallas due to the injury to Lehtonen.


With Kari Lehtonen out due to a groin injury, the Dallas Stars will now turn to Andrew Raycroft to carry the load in goal.

“Razor’s been the guy before and that’s why we got him,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan.

It’s still not clear how long Lehtonen will be unable to play. He’s on injured reserve, so he’ll be out at least one week. The Stars will get a better idea of a time frame after they get results of an MRI of his groin. But the Stars do have the schedule in their favor at this point. Starting with Monday’s game in Denver, they have just five games over the next 15 days.

“The silver lining here is that if it is a week or two week injury we don’t play a ton here until we go out on the road,” said Gulutzan. “That’s what we are hoping for and we have full confidence in Razor to get it done and take us to where we need to go.”

Raycroft is 0-5-0 this season, but all five decisions have come on the second night of back-to-back games for the Stars and four of those have been on the road. And the guys in front of him haven’t provided him a ton of offensive support. The Stars have scored just five goals in Raycroft’s five games and have been shut out twice.

The 31-year-old has been a No. 1 goalie before in his career. In 2006-07, he played 72 games, including 71 starts, for Toronto and posted a 37-25-9 record. Last season he carried the load briefly for the Stars when Lehtonen went out of the lineup with some back issues. He started four straight games – three of them on the road – in December, posting a 2-2-0 record, 3.01 goals against average and .891 save percentage.

“I’ve been a starter in the league and to be honest, feel more comfortable with it most of the time. You can get into a bit of a rhythm,” said Raycroft. “It will be nice to feel a rhythm and just get the pace of play down and get better reads. I’m looking forward to that.”

Raycroft has started 18 games for the Stars over the past two seasons. He has a 8-9-0 record with a 3.04 goals against average, a .904 save percentage and two shutouts.

“He’s always been ready every time he’s been asked to go in the net,” Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas said of Raycroft. “He’s been a No. 1 before in this league and he’s still a really good goalie and we’re fully confident in him.”

Bachman gets the call

The Stars called up Richard Bachman from the Texas Stars of the AHL to serve as the backup to Andrew Raycroft while Kari Lehtonen is out.

Bachman, a fourth round pick (120th overall) in 2006, has a 7-6-1 record, 3.13 goals against average and a .887 save percentage with Texas this season. Playing under Stars coach Glen Gulutzan with Texas last season, was 28-19-5 with a 2.20 goals against average and a .927 save percentage. He played in one game for Dallas last season, stopping all four shots he faced in 9:35 of playing time against Phoenix.

“It’s his competitiveness. He’s a real competitive guy,” Gulutzan said of Bachman. “He’s a cerebral goalie. As a smaller guy (5-10, 175 pounds) he has to be in good position. He doesn’t give up a lot of rebounds and you have to beat him clean to beat him. He reads the game well. Quietly, quietly competitive guy and he’s won everywhere he’s been.”

Having played in Gulutzan’s system and getting some time in the NHL last season are big plusses for Bachman.

“It helps to be familiar with it, familiar with all the systems and to know what the D are going to do because I saw it last year,” Bachman said. “There’s that comfort factor of knowing everything and obviously being up for the second time you know more faces in the locker room. I’ll be a lot more comfortable, I think.”

Notes

*C Vernon Fiddler, who left Saturday’s game with a groin injury, will probably play Monday at Colorado, according to coach Glen Gulutzan.

*D Trevor Daley, who left Saturday’s game with a back injury, is out for Monday.

*Kari Lehtonen (groin), Brenden Morrow (upper body), Alex Goligoski (broken thumb) and Adam Burish (broken hand) are all on injured reserve and remain out.

*Krys Barch, who has been a scratch the last four games, is expected to play Monday to bring some fresh legs to lineup.

*Along with Richard Bachman, the Stars recalled LW Francis Wathier from Texas (AHL) on Sunday. He is not expected to play Monday.

Dallas Stars outlook: Goaltending

September, 8, 2011
9/08/11
11:31
PM CT
FRISCO -- One year ago there were some questions about the Dallas Stars goaltending. Kari Lehtonen answered them.

Lehtonen, hampered by injuries and conditioning issues in the past, put together a solid 2010-11 season, playing in a career-high 69 games and tying a career-high with 34 wins. His 2.55 goals against average was a career-best and his .914 save percentage was the second best of his career.

Now, Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk would like to see Lehtonen, who will turn 28 in November, build on last season.

“I think his focus this year is: OK, I’m back, I’m a good goalie, now I want to show everybody I am an elite goalie,” said Nieuwendyk. “I think he is going to have a terrific year.”

If there was one issue surrounding Lehtonen last season, it might have been the workload. Nieuwendyk felt Lehtonen proved he is capable of carrying a big load but the Stars may have emptied his tank a bit when they played him the final 23 games of the season as the team tried to secure a playoff spot.

“I’d like to see him play less,” Nieuwendyk said. “Not that it’s too much, it just that the bulk of it was at the end. I thought we wore him out. I think he showed everybody that he can come back and handle that, although we did make him tired.”

When it comes to dividing up time between Lehtonen and backup Andrew Raycroft, Stars head coach Glen Gulutzan said he won’t go into the season with a set number of games for each guy.

“I like to go a little bit by feel during the season. If Lehts is tired then we have to back off and Razor is playing good then we have to give him a little bit more. You just can’t set those things in stone,” Gulutzan said. “Obviously we have a No.1, but you also want to leave the ability for your players to perform to max capacity. To say to Razor that you are only going to play 15-20 games, that pigeon-holes him. It doesn’t let him shine.

“We have a general guide, but I am not afraid to move it five each way because if we get good performances out of guys that is what we are trying to get, from both our goalies.”

The Stars got some good performances last season out of Raycroft, who posted an 8-5-0 record, 2.83 goals against average and .910 save percentage in 19 games. But after rough outings against Calgary (7 goals on 19 shots) and Boston (2 goals on 2 shots) his playing dropped significantly and he hardly played down the stretch. The Stars are counting on him seeing some more time this season.

“Razor is a quality veteran. He had some great games for us last year,” said Nieuwendyk. “I know his focus is good right now and I know the coaches’ focus is good on getting him the number of games he needs to get.”

Goaltending depth

Below Lehtonen and Raycroft the Stars will have Richard Bachman and Tyler Beskorowany, who both are expected to play with the Texas Stars of the AHL this season.

Bachman took over the No. 1 job with Texas last season after Brent Krahn went down with an injury and performed very well.

“It really showed us he can be a top goaltender in the American League,” said Dallas goaltending coach Mike Valley. “He’s the type of guy, it doesn’t matter where he is playing, he always plays well, he’s always winning and you can’t say enough about the kid. This year is another huge year for him to show that he can take another step forward.”

Beskorowany will push Bachman for playing time in Cedar Park. He started with Idaho of the ECHL last season, and was impressive. He finished the season with Texas and played well in what was his first year as a pro.”

“Because of Brent Krahn getting hurt he got pushed forward a year and he handled it great,” said Valley. “Every time he went in there he handled it really well. … We were extremely happy with the way he played in the American League. It bumped up his development a year. It was great.”

Dallas Stars 2011-12 Goaltenders

Kari Lehtonen
Andrew Raycroft
Richard Bachman
Tyler Beskorowany

Andrew Raycroft to start tonight vs. Flames

January, 21, 2011
1/21/11
3:00
PM CT
Not a surprise, but Andrew Raycroft is expected to get the start in goal tonight as the Dallas Stars take on the Flames in Calgary.

It will be Raycroft’s first game since January 9, when he stopped 26 shots in a 4-0 victory over Minnesota. He’s 8-3-0 with a 2.05 goals against average and a .934 save percentage this season.

The Stars have won eight straight on the road, a franchise record. It’s the longest road winning streak in the NHL since the San Jose Sharks put together nine straight road wins last season.

Andrew Raycroft rises to the challenge

December, 2, 2010
12/02/10
11:48
PM CT
Dallas Stars coach Marc Crawford said he wanted to give backup goalie Andrew Raycroft a challenge by starting him against Eastern Conference leading Washington Capitals Thursday night. Raycroft answered the challenge, stopping 37 of 38 shots in helping the Stars to a 2-1 victory that ran their winning streak to a season-high five games.

“Andrew Raycroft was absolutely terrific,” Crawford said. “I don’t think you are going to get a much bigger win from your backup than to have him play one of the top teams in the league and have a performance like that.”

Raycroft improved to 3-1-0 on the season, while lowering his goals against average to 1.65 and raising his save percentage to .951 on the season. He did that on a night while facing one of the most talented and highest scoring teams in the league.

“They’re a dangerous team,” Raycroft said. “We did a great job. The rush chances are the ones that really get you and I thought we did a great job. I don’t remember any great rush chances that they had. That was a big key for us. “

Raycroft, making his fourth start of the season, came up big in the first period when the Stars were on their heels a bit and Washington had a 14-7 shots advantage. The Stars were able to get out of the period tied at 0-0.

“Razor weathered the storm for us and allowed us to get our legs under us,” said Stars captain Brenden Morrow.

“He’s been amazing since day one when he came in here,” Stars forward Brandon Segal said of Raycroft. “Every time he is in the net he is ready to go. It’s great to have two great goaltenders to rely on. He was outstanding tonight.”

The Dallas netminder and Washington’s Michael Neuvirth were both perfect in net until 6:21 left in the second period when Mike Ribeiro scored on the power play, knocking home the rebound of a Brad Richards shot to give the Stars a 1-0 lead.

Washington drew even Mike Knuble scored a power play goal off a great play and pass by Mike Green at 10:18 of the third period to tie the game at 1-1.

But just 20 seconds later the Stars got what would be the game-winner when Brenden Morrow sent a cross-ice pass to Segal, who came down the right wing and beat Neuvirth with a shot from the top of the circle.

“I just ripped the shot and it went in,” said Segal. “It felt pretty good.”

That goal held up as the game-winner, but for a few seconds it appeared in doubt. Washington scored what appeared to the game-tying goal with 7.6 seconds left, but it was waved off because it was ruled that Caps forward Alex Ovechkin was in the crease and had interfered with Raycroft. So, the Stars held on for the 2-1 victory and a fifth straight victory.

“It’s huge,” said Segal. “We’re gaining confidence every game now.”

During their five-game winning streak the Stars have allowed just six goals. They’ve allowed more than one goal in just one of those games.

“We’re playing real good hockey now,” said Raycroft. “We’re limiting chances, we’re not giving much up. … We’re just playing real good team hockey now.”

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