Any window Carolina Hurricanes goalie Scott Darling had of becoming a premier starter in the NHL closes if he can’t bounce back in the upcoming season.
Since the Carolina Hurricanes had some of the worst team goaltending stats of all 31 teams in the NHL in 2017-18, there should be some focus on improvement and what positive takeaways can be dissected. Scott Darling and Cam Ward both had their fair share of issues in net for the Canes, throughout the course of the entire season.
The main problem with saying that Ward should’ve had more starts than Darling during the regular season is that he played his best coming out of the backup role. If and when Darling managed to put a solid performance or two together, Ward was huge in the start following.
Moreover, since Ward is a free agent this summer, and Darling is locked up to three more years on his contract the Canes gave him last summer he’s bound to some role with the team in 2018-19. A move to bring back both Ward and Darling next season is hard to imagine the Canes making a reality.
Among all goalies that had more than 20 starts in the league, Darling had the worst save percentage at .888. As a team, the Canes posted a save percentage of .897, balanced out by Ward sitting at .906. Both Ward and Darling fell well below the league average save percentage of .912.
Yet, a long time has past since the Canes had a goalie that posted a save percentage hovering around .912. Ward’s declining performance and Eddie Lack’s less than stellar tenure in Raleigh made it a good while since fans saw quality goaltending.
Carolina needs to buy into improvement from Darling next season and doing whatever it takes to get him to that point during the off-season months. This is the first time that he’s a member of a team that missed the postseason, since he experienced three straight playoff appearances with the Chicago Blackhawks.
Here’s 3 reasons Darling could be great for the Canes in 2018-19.