With Kari Lehtonen out, it's Andrew Raycroft time
November, 27, 2011
By Mark Stepneski | ESPNDallas.com
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.”
*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.