Carolina Hurricanes: The Path to Contention

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 2: Goaltender Cam Ward #30 of the Carolina Hurricanes looks on against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on November 2, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Hurricanes 5-3. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 2: Goaltender Cam Ward #30 of the Carolina Hurricanes looks on against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on November 2, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Hurricanes 5-3. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 16: The Carolina Hurricanes celebrate a second period goal by Derek Ryan #7 (l) against Thomas Greiss #1 of the New York Islanders at the Barclays Center on November 16, 2017 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 16: The Carolina Hurricanes celebrate a second period goal by Derek Ryan #7 (l) against Thomas Greiss #1 of the New York Islanders at the Barclays Center on November 16, 2017 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

How to put this team together

To build a good team, you need 12 solid forwards, 6 solid defensemen but only 2 goalies. So, theoretically, let’s assume that forwards, defensemen and goaltenders are all equally important.

This means that 1 goaltender = 6 forwards, or 1 goaltender =  3 defensemen. This is a big deal. In a playoff series, you need your goalie to be consistently great. A lot of the time, a great goaltender is relied on to win his team the game; bailing them out of a poor performance.

So then, why can’t Scott Darling pull of these kinds of performances. Look, Darling is a good goalie. I wasn’t quite sure if he was suitable to be an NHL starter, but he has proved himself worthy. Well, when is the last time a simple “Good” goalie won the the cup?

Well, Matt Murray was terrific last year, so not him. Corey Crawford was great the year before that, so not him. Before that: Quick, no. Crawford again, no. Quick again, no. Tim Thomas had that Cinderella run out of nowhere, so no. So… Antti Niemi.

Yes, Antti Niemi in the 2009-10 season is the most recent, decent cup-winning goaltender. And he was backed by one of the best teams of all time. When I look at Scott Darling, I see a good, not great goaltender.

When I look at the Carolina Hurricanes, I don’t see one of the best teams of all time. I don’t see Scott Darling as being a Stanley Cup caliber goaltender. Maybe he can pull off a Tim Thomas-like Cinderella story, but I don’t see it.

I do, however, think the Hurricanes will be contenders in 2 or 3 years. This, is due to one simple thing: How they rebuilt.