As it turns out, Richard Bachman can do things other than sit on the bench and play Canucks cheerleader. With Jacob Markstrom still out with a hamspring injury, and Ryan Miller now having played ten consecutive games, the Canucks will look to their third-string netminder in tonight’s game against the Arizona Coyotes.
Bachman hasn’t played since the preseason, in which he participated in just two games and played 64 minutes. In that span of time, he faced 28 shots and made 25 saves, good for a 0.893 save percentage. That may seem like reason for pessimism, but Miller’s four games saw him at a 0.881; a far cry from his current 0.923 rate.
Bachman, a 28-year-old from Salt Lake City, has been a journeyman of sorts, spending time in both the NHL and AHL in every season he’s played since 2010/11. To date, he’s never played more than 18 games in an NHL season (2011/12 with Dallas), always finding himself as the low-game backup or the first call up. The latter role is the one he slots into this year; this would almost assuredly be a Markstrom night in any other situation.
Bachman finds himself in an interesting situation, both in the immediate and in the long term. For now, he’s jumping in to play his first NHL game since April 7th, while having not played a competitive game in nearly a month. Meanwhile, once he does go back down, he has an uphill battle to regain Utica’s starting spot from Joe Cannata, who has a shutout and a 0.940 save percentage through five games.
You can catch Bachman’s Canucks debut at 7:00 PM tonight.