3. More confidence from Scott Darling
Easily the most disappointing part of the season so far has been the play of starting goalie Scott Darling. General manager Ron Francis brought Darling over from the Chicago Blackhawks during the off-season to replace Eddie Lack and hopefully give the Canes a true No. 1 goalie.
However, Darling has not even come close to living up to the bill of a No. 1 NHL goalie. His .896 save percentage is well below the league average, and his last start saw him give up eight goals in an embarrassing loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
In fact, Cam Ward’s save percentage, goals against average, and win percentage, are all well-above Darling’s. Ward’s record right now is 8-2-1. And, Ward is 7-0-1 since Nov. 10, and is one of the league’s hottest goaltender’s at this point.
Carolina would be at its overall best if Darling was able to be a goalie that could at least hover around a .910 save percentage. The Canes have trouble counting on him whenever he gets the start. If they do get more performances out of him like the one from the Dec. 16 home victory over the Blue Jackets, he’ll be good to go.