Viktor Fasth Unlikely To Play, Bachman vs. Brossoit Debate Begins

Photo by Steven Christy

Word out of Edmonton Oilers practice this morning is that Viktor Fasth was bowled over unintentionally (conspiracy theories run amuck) by Oklahoma City Barons captain Anton Lander. The news comes at a completely awful time as the team in OKC is knee deep in the playoff hunt, and having just lost two games to southern rival, the Texas Stars. How crippling is a potential goaltender recall? Monstrously so.

There are currently two Oilers goaltenders on the farm. One is the recent to-the-AHL callup, Laurent Brossoit, who was swapped for Tyler Bunz last week amid a pile of player transactions. Richard Bachman is the other.

Richard “The Biz” Bachman is a huge part of why and how the Oklahoma City team has managed to be in playoff consideration in the final days of March. He has been miraculous early and late, and Nelson has ridden him hard in recent weeks. Save for a single game played by Tyler Bunz, Richard Bachman has shouldered the majority of the load down the stretch. Bachman is currently fourth in minutes played by AHL goaltenders, the three above him have all played two or three extra games. He is also first in total saves, and in only 42 games played.

So the choice is Brossoit vs. Bachman.

The Edmonton Oilers will likely choose Richard, he’s earned it, pay the man. This does, however, drastically reduce the chances of beating anyone to win the final playoff spot in the West. That’s a bummer.

Brossoit is considered by many, including myself, a good goalending prospect. Yet he is still rather green. Bestow the recall upon him just to have him ride the pine if you will, but if he enters the game – beware. He is a prospect in every sense of the word. A good prospect, but not one ready for NHL minutes.

The trickle down effect won’t just harm the Barons. Ty Rimmer or Chet Pickard might be called upon to back-up Brossoit (assuming Bachman leaves), and both guys play important roles on the ECHL and CHL teams with whom they now reside. Quad City has earned a playoff birth. Bakersfield would like to round out a sub-par season on a high note. Why not recall Tyler Bunz? He took a slapshot just below the mask a few days ago, fracturing his larnyx and doing vocal cord damage. He’s out for a while.

A week ago, when Steve MacIntyre was placed with the Oilers, we began to wonder if perhaps the NHL team was “helping” the Barons. Indeed it could be seen that way. I guess we will know if Craig MacTavish and crew actually care about the Barons making the playoffs. I don’t think they do, nor should they. However, it is worth considering especially when you claim to be developing a “prospect AHL team”. The postseason would be a nice experience – travel, game preparation, odd schedules, change of routine – for many of these young players. It also might give Oilers’ fans something worth rejoicing in. We will have to wait, see, and weep endless tears.

Written By - Neal Livingston

Born in the great state of Ohio, now nestled in the middle America we call Oklahoma, Neal is the head writer & chief farmhand at Tend The Farm -- a website dedicated to covering the Oklahoma City Barons of the American Hockey League.