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About Last Season: Scott Darling Performance Review and Grade

In his first season as a starter, Scott Darling fell well short of the expectations placed on him by the Carolina faithful.

Jamie Kellner

Scott Darling: 2017-18 By The Numbers

  • Age: 29
  • NHL Seasons: 4
  • Stats: 43 GP, 13-21-7, 3.18 GAA, .888 SV%
  • Contract Status: Finished first year of four-year, $16.6 million contract, $4.15 million AAV

Making The Grade

Scott Darling’s season was an off year, to put it lightly.

To be fair, almost every decent hockey player has an off year or two. Carey Price had a .900 save percentage this season — the worst of his career — which compounded the pain for the Canadiens, who stumbled to their lowest points total in an 82-game season since 2000-2001.

But what makes Darling’s season more disappointing is the timing. His freshly signed four-year, $16.6M contract was immediately soured by an extremely inconsistent year in net, leading Caniacs to wince every time his name was announced as starting goalie.

You may think, “Hey, at least he isn’t Eddie Lack.” I mean, remember when Bill Peters remarked on Lack in March of 2017, saying, “Look up any goalie that’s played 10 games in the National Hockey League in the top 60 in save percentage. I know who’s (number) 60, and there’s 30 teams. Not good enough.” (Boom! Roasted.)

Well, among goalies that started at least 15 games in 2017-18, Darling’s .888 save percentage was the worst in the league.

Plus, it was worse than Lack’s .902 in 2016-17. Let that sink in.

Darling came in with the intention to, as he said, “learn how to be the best starter [he] can be.” He made no claims that he was going to be a reliable shutdown option off the bat. However, his backup time to Corey Crawford shows that he can be just that, and in the current playoff drought the Hurricanes are facing, everyone was all extremely hopeful for a repeat of his stellar years with the Blackhawks to give us a shot. In all likelihood, a .500 win percentage on the year by Darling would likely have put the Canes in the playoffs.

Now, after a season of so much gloom, the trite truism — it can only go up from here — must be true next season. Right? Right???

He’ll have a chance to right his game before the first game of the next NHL season. Darling was named to Team USA IIHF World Championship roster, alongside New Jersey’s Keith Kinkaid and Montreal’s Charlie Lindgren.

The question: when the next NHL season starts, will Darling still be on the Hurricanes’ roster?

Exit Interview


How do you grade Scott Darling’s 2017-18 season?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    A - outstanding performance
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    B - above average performance
    (2 votes)
  • 1%
    C - average performance
    (7 votes)
  • 17%
    D - below average performance
    (68 votes)
  • 79%
    F - significantly below average performance
    (312 votes)
392 votes total Vote Now