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The Thread about Goalies

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58 minutes ago, legend-1 said:

I do agree it wasn't on Darling but I think his Brians are letting him down.

 

If for some crazy reason Darling's back next year he needs to give serious consideration to a new leg pad company. Brian's makes a very active rebound pad and it cost him 2 goals. I don't think Cam's Vaughns would launch the first goal to Zacha and I don't think Cam's Vaughns woulda put a rebound 4 feet in front of him on the final goal.

 

I mean he was in a still butterfly and it still went 4 feet as if the pads are made out of literal rubber. That's just silly.

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Edited by super_dave_1
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1 hour ago, legend-1 said:

I do agree it wasn't on Darling but I think his Brians are letting him down.

 

If for some crazy reason Darling's back next year he needs to give serious consideration to a new leg pad company. Brian's makes a very active rebound pad and it cost him 2 goals. I don't think Cam's Vaughns would launch the first goal to Zacha and I don't think Cam's Vaughns woulda put a rebound 4 feet in front of him on the final goal.

 

I mean he was in a still butterfly and it still went 4 feet as if the pads are made out of literal rubber. That's just silly.

Good call.

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I get all the calls for new goaltending, I really do. But the facts as I see them are as follows: 

 

- Darling is locked in for three more years and now, he has something to prove.

- He showed up to camp out of shape and performed like it most of the year.

- His history says he is much better than he was this year.

- Cam is a 30-gamer, tops.

 

I believe both keepers will be back, or at least that's what I'm prepared for. I believe Darling will be placed on a supervised diet and fitness regimen this summer and will be ready to go. My hope is that the coaching staff picks 25 games before the season even starts, tells Cam they are his, and that, barring injury, Darling plays all the rest. If Cam is injured, Neds becomes the backup. If Darling is hurt, Cam and Neds split the workload until Neds is up to speed--when he takes on the games that were earmarked for Darling. 

 

Cam is a crutch that this org needs to kick out from under itself. Extending him for a year - provided his workload is strictly limited in order to force the next guys up to perform - seems both the most logical and respectful (to Cam) way to do it.

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3 hours ago, top-shelf-1 said:

Cam is a crutch that this org needs to kick out from under itself. Extending him for a year - provided his workload is strictly limited in order to force the next guys up to perform - seems both the most logical and respectful (to Cam) way to do it.

The other option I could see the org going is to offer him a job coaching the goalies coming up to Charlotte, if they feel he might be a fit for it. It doesn't seem like we have had any luck with anyone coaching these prospects to date. Give Cam the shot and if everything goes off the rails he is a couple hours and a PTO away from being available if the crease turns into another raging dumpster fire next year...

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I'm not pinning this one on Darling, but we brought Lack back too. I have no confidence in Darling. I hope I'm wrong and know even less about goalies than other stuff, but I cannot see going with this same tandem and right now Cam is the better back up. It would seem tough to bring in a legit #1 goalie with Darling here on that contract. I don't know what happens, but if it's Cam/Darling again? :shock:.

 

Trip called for pulling the goalie late with the game tied since giving NJ an extra point would be the rope around the coffin that already had the final nail in it. I found myself hoping he would go for it. It's not like getting one point helps anyway, but, of course it didn't happen. I can only imagine grief he'd have gotten if that didn't work.

 

The good news is that Zykov and Foegele are keeping it up, and McKeown is holding things down suggesting we could move Faulk if that is in the cards.

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1 hour ago, remkin said:

I'm not pinning this one on Darling, but we brought Lack back too. I have no confidence in Darling. I hope I'm wrong and know even less about goalies than other stuff, but I cannot see going with this same tandem and right now Cam is the better back up. It would seem tough to bring in a legit #1 goalie with Darling here on that contract. I don't know what happens, but if it's Cam/Darling again? :shock:.

 

Trip called for pulling the goalie late with the game tied since giving NJ an extra point would be the rope around the coffin that already had the final nail in it. I found myself hoping he would go for it. It's not like getting one point helps anyway, but, of course it didn't happen. I can only imagine grief he'd have gotten if that didn't work.

 

The good news is that Zykov and Foegele are keeping it up, and McKeown is holding things down suggesting we could move Faulk if that is in the cards.

 

I can't see TD allowing a Cam/ Darling tandem.  Hoping Darling comes around would be a wishy-washy strategy imo, and I don't see that in TDs personality. 

 

I also wanted to see Peters pull Darling to try to win it in regulation.  That would have put us 5 points back of Devils, and would have still required a miracle finish, but occasionally miracles do happen.  Unfortunately the Devils scored before it became an option.  But yeah, he'd have been excoriated here if he tried it and it didn't work.

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54 minutes ago, LakeLivin said:

 

I can't see TD allowing a Cam/ Darling tandem.  Hoping Darling comes around would be a wishy-washy strategy imo, and I don't see that in TDs personality

He may not have much choice. Darlings contract may make it hard to move him and the hope he finds his game hard to swallow a buyout. I believe we will have 1 buyout available next year and currently there are 3 candidates to buyout if I am not mistaken; Kruger, Rask. And Darling. There is hope Rask's problem is a lingering injury, Hope Darling can maybe turn things around, andI got nothing for Kruger. I think we have to wait until training camp at the earliest to see who is going to be our biggest anchor we can't unload in trade...

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5 hours ago, DevildogKodi said:

The other option I could see the org going is to offer him a job coaching the goalies coming up to Charlotte, if they feel he might be a fit for it. It doesn't seem like we have had any luck with anyone coaching these prospects to date. Give Cam the shot and if everything goes off the rails he is a couple hours and a PTO away from being available if the crease turns into another raging dumpster fire next year...

Cam will be a backup for someone next year unless he is ready to call it a career and move on with his wine business. Before he was drafted into the starter’s role at mid season, he was very good in that role.

 

I watched an interview with Don Waddell (is he really the face of management now?) where he implied, I thought, that Darling would be back, but the Canes expected to bring in another goalie with starting potential to compete for the job in camp. I can’t remember exactly what he said about Cam, but I had the impression that he could be brought back wit a chance to earn the backup job. Pretty sure he said the Canes had too much invested in Darling not to bring him back next year for another look at least. I don’t recall seeing Darling play for Chicago, but his performance and numbers there as compared to here can’t just be written off to playing with different players in a different system. He has just been spectacularly bad in many games this year. With a different offseason training regimen, a different goalie coach, different equipment, a psychologist and who knows what else, I still hope the Chicago Darling shows up next year. I believe it’s possible but he has a lot to prove.

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15 minutes ago, bluedevilcane said:

I can’t remember exactly what he said about Cam

He said there would be a place for Cam

17 minutes ago, bluedevilcane said:

Pretty sure he said the Canes had too much invested in Darling not to bring him back next year

He said they had another 3 years invested in Darling. He did imply if Darling wasn't game ready or the Canes wanted to take a different path that Darling could start in Charlotte

19 minutes ago, bluedevilcane said:

the Canes expected to bring in another goalie

If I remember correctly he said the Canes could shop for a third goalie and let it sort itself out in training camp

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Well my aging memory was pretty close. I’d rather see Darling go to Charlotte to start the season and try to find himself than just eat that contract and let him sign cheap elsewhere and possibly find his game.

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3 minutes ago, bluedevilcane said:

Well my aging memory was pretty close. I’d rather see Darling go to Charlotte to start the season and try to find himself than just eat that contract and let him sign cheap elsewhere and possibly find his game.

 

My aging memory could have it a little wrong but that is what I remember. I thought it was a very candid interview and left me wondering just where Waddell is on the food chain.

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BDC and OBXer, my not so aging really good memory remembers it pretty much the same way. DW implied they would look to training camp with possibly 3 goalies and if he is bad Darling could be bound for Charlotte.

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Because of his age (he turned 29 in Dec), it's easy to forget that this is Darling's fourth year in the NHL, and first "payoff" contract. Before he signed this deal he made less than $600k a year with the Hawks, first on a one-year ELC and then for two years on a standard contract.

 

Does anybody remember the lighthearted feature he did with the Big Rig last summer, right after signing? It was a taste test of Carolina BBQ. :o So here's a guy whose struggles in life are well-known and he feels like he's finally made it. He's got the reward burning a hole in his pocket, and all summer to celebrate.

 

The next thing we know, he's so out of shape he plays in one - was it two? - preseason games, and ekes out a win in the opener on sheer determination.

 

I'm not excusing him for showing up out of shape. But as far as I'm concerned, anybody under 30 is still a kid, and given Darling's personal history and the mountain he climbed to make it, that goes double for him. In Jersey he showed solid signs of the guy we signed. He did the same at various points this season. He beat, and nearly shut out, the Caps on Nov 1; beat the Leafs a week earlier; and shut down CBJ on Dec 26 after giving up an early goal--a 2-1 win in which he stopped 35 of 36 shots.

 

The other night, without his save on the Devs' breakaway early (and several others while the team was getting its legs under it), that game is over before it even starts. I think Waddell is right (and that's a first) that training camp will tell the tale. His comment about the team's investment in Darling probably alludes as much to its efforts to get him into game shape as the season progressed - very difficult to do - as it does to his contract. If he shows up ready and wins the crease, all will be forgiven. If not, it sounds like management is acutely aware that it better have a plan B ready to roll. 

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I am impressed that so many seem ready to give Darling another shot after this utter disaster he laid out there this year. Even without any more scoring or any other changes, if Darling were even close to what we hoped this team would be in the playoffs right now. My problem is the consistency. He consistently loses. I have a tendency to focus in on save percentage because all other goalie stats about about as useful as plus/minus, that is not useless, but not great. GAA can be very dependent on the team in front of the goalie, PK time, PK effectiveness, playing style, etc, and record actually IS about the same as plus minus in that 11 other guys on the ice factor in. 

 

That said, Cam always seems to have a better record than he should based on save %. Some of this is his puck handling, some game management, and some just that the team wheels better knowing he's back there. But Darling's record is as bad or worse than his terrible save %. The man has won 12 games in 37 tries on a team that is far above real .500 behind his backup. I'm saying there is little to no good from this season for Darling. Keeping him is a complete roll of the dice that he can find a form entirely alien to what this year looked like. 

 

I will concede that goalies are a super weird lot. They can dominate in near historic fashion, then come out and utterly stink the next year. I will also concede that guys on new teams and with their first big contract can struggle (though what Darling has done is a bit beyond 'struggling'). I get that we have a lot of money and term tied up in him too. So there is logic in giving him one more shot. But I recall another goalie with a nice save % over two years before coming here, with about the same number pre-Canes starts as Darling, who came in here and stunk out loud, and got another year, and stunk out loud again and is now struggling to get into NHL games between tacos. Just sayin'. 

 

In fact, if there is one thing that might well have cost Francis his job, it's being unable to move our goalie tandem out of the basement. 

 

I theoretically like the idea of bringing in a third goalie to compete, but this has some big drawbacks. One, it risks ending up with Darling/Ward again. Two, what proven, decent goalie is going to want to come into that situation? I guess we could trade for a guy, but if it's going to be THE guy, how does he fit in with Darling's contract? Other teams have had three headed goalie situations and my general sense it that those teams didn't do very well on the whole. 

 

I will say this. If this team sticks with Darling and he finds his game, it would be a gutsy move, and man could we use that. But I'm very wary.

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As far as the organization goes, I see Darling's future as being decided on the basis of a cost/ risk/ benefit calculation.  From that perspective, I don't see much chance of starting the season with a Ward - Darling tandem; the risk component is just too high.  With Dundon's stated willingness to spend, and cap presumably not being an issue (unless we sign Tavares? :P) I could see the possibility of investing the money to send Darling to Charlotte to see if he can find a game, knowing we could buy him out next year if he doesn't..  Or, if we can land a clear, legit #1 goalie, I could see possibly retaining Darling as a backup (depending what he does in the offseason).  But I personally don't see much chance of coming back with a Ward - Darling tandem.

Edited by LakeLivin
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Rem, it is not as much that I am willing to give Darling another shot as I don't see another option. I don't know if we could find a trade partner and I just don't see management buying him out yet. TD says he is less concerned about money and more about building a good team. If cap isn't a concern, then tell Darling to show up at training camp and earn the spot or he can head to Charlotte.

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17 minutes ago, DevildogKodi said:

Rem, it is not as much that I am willing to give Darling another shot as I don't see another option. I don't know if we could find a trade partner and I just don't see management buying him out yet. TD says he is less concerned about money and more about building a good team. If cap isn't a concern, then tell Darling to show up at training camp and earn the spot or he can head to Charlotte.

This neatly summaries my take as well. Darling is on the record as having had difficulty adjusting to a new city with no social group outside of the team. Therefore Chicago is the only place I can see him potentially landing, and given how much salary they'd want us to retain (if they want him back in the first place, which I doubt) it seems writing this season off and giving him a clean slate - provided he arrives at camp in shape - is the most likely scenario.

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I just don't think when the entire organization only has 6 feasible goalie spots available you can use one of them as a dumping ground unlike the Kruger situation where the AHL alone has 12 forward spots. Helvig and Booth both need to be in the AHL next year unless Helvig has a rough camp and needs to get his training wheels on in the ECHL which he seems like a kid that won't need that. So maybe you wait til camp to make a buyout decision?

 

I think our biggest screw up in trying to find a starter has been not building a backup plan of talent in the AHL. Booth/Helvig provide a backup plan.

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2 hours ago, remkin said:

I theoretically like the idea of bringing in a third goalie to compete, but this has some big drawbacks. One, it risks ending up with Darling/Ward again.

This is why I think it makes sense to extend Cam one year with limited games, and Ned becomes Plan B for the #1. He's 22, and having a great year. The Helvig signing indicates to me that the org is ready to go with Ouellette in CLT next year (who is absolutely tearing it up in the ECHL) move Ned to the next level. 

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18 minutes ago, legend-1 said:

Booth/Helvig provide a backup plan.

I think Helvig plays for a year in the E regardless, and that Booth and Ouellette will play in CLT next year. Unless the org decides Smith is worth another $750K, the 26-year-old Ouellette would become the new "old man" for the Chex, if Neds is elevated.

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1 hour ago, top-shelf-1 said:

This neatly summaries my take as well. Darling is on the record as having had difficulty adjusting to a new city with no social group outside of the team. Therefore Chicago is the only place I can see him potentially landing, and given how much salary they'd want us to retain (if they want him back in the first place, which I doubt) it seems writing this season off and giving him a clean slate - provided he arrives at camp in shape - is the most likely scenario.

chicago also had a horrible goalie situation this year, you might be on to something.

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honestly, i think it makes the most sense to give Darling another shot , the key has to be having a legitimate option B in case you need to pull the trigger after 20 games or so.

Edited by MisterDobz
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What do we know about Darling’s personal life? Is he married or otherwise in a stable relationship? It was mentioned above that he acknowledged that he had struggled with adapting to his new social environment. Like all of you I am struggling to understand why we are seeing the current Briscoe as opposed to the Chicago version that looked so promising. I still hope that he can turn it around and find himself by the start of next season....

 

Speaking of personal issues I wonder if that might be related to Victor Rask’s problems this year. Rask may be young and relatively wealthy but he comes across to me as a guy who might have a problem getting a date! ? These guys aren’t robots- they’re human beings with everyday real life problems!

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