Now that I think about it, how many times has signing a life-long backup goalie as a starter really worked out for anyone? I honestly can’t think of any examples off the top of my head. And alas, Darling has failed to stop the trend.
With an .896 save percentage through 24 games, Darling has disappointed. He isn’t looking like an NHL-caliber goaltender. Add 2 abysmal goals against the Rangers and an 8-1 loss to the Leafs, and we’ve got the entire NHL mocking him.
I truly feel sorry for Scott. In Chicago, he was merely a modest reliever. He didn’t have to face the pressure of being in between the pipes on most nights. There’s really not much to say here. The fact is, Darling has played poorly, and shows no signs of improvement.
So, is Cam Ward going to have to start for the rest of season? I don’t know. He has a decent .911 save percentage, which makes me optimistic. However, he has only played 12 games. This is quite a small sample size, so he may be no better off than Darling.
It is becoming evident that our entire goaltending situation is a mess. As I stated previously, we have fantastic possession numbers. We are the best team in the league, when it comes to controlling the puck. We aren’t winning, however, because our goaltending hasn’t been good enough.
It is great to play offense and defense, but the goaltender is the most important player on the team. If he doesn’t stop the puck, no one else will. If we hope to make the playoffs this year, we have to sort this out. We can’t have a good team without a good goalie. This is undoubtedly, the biggest problem we currently face.