Coming into the season, Carolina had one hell of an offseason acquiring former Hurricane Justin Williams back, signing Trevor Van Riemsdyk and Scott Darling. They added some key additional piece on the front and back end, as well as Darling who they thought was going to be a number one goaltender.
Fast forward through the first month of play and Darling has started in nine games, through those nine he has picked up three wins while accumulating 2.50 goals against and a .903 save percentage. The alarming statistic is the .903 save percentage, mainly because it is on the border of a .899, which is horrific.
Secondly, the games he has lost he’s let in three or more goals, rightfully so they have been against some good teams but still being a number one goaltender, you’re expected to steal a game or two. His three wins come off of Toronto, Minnesota, and Calgary, three decent teams but for what they expected Darling to be, personally he has not proved much.
Darling has yet to be a true number one goaltender just yet and the Hurricanes record proves it to be true, through 12 games the Hurricanes are 4-5-3 ranked 8th in the Metropolitan division. Now, much of their poor start can be credited to be slow offense and a lack of production from their poor power play and penalty kill, but Darling needs to take that next step and get the Hurricanes season on the right track.
We’ve seen already this year in the NHL, teams staying in games or even being more successful than anyone ever thought, for example, the Golden Knights earlier in the season, the Kings with Jonathan Quick right now, Blues with Jake Allen, Avalanche with Varlamov. The list continues and if Darling wants to be respected as a number goalie, he needs to prove, as of right now he has proved nothing. Well to me at least.