Carolina Hurricanes

Former Blackhawks goaltender Scott Darling to take leave of absence from Hurricanes

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USA TODAY

Former Blackhawks goaltender Scott Darling to take leave of absence from Hurricanes

Former Blackhawks goaltender Scott Darling is taking a personal leave of absence from the Carolina Hurricanes.

Don Waddell, the Hurricanes general manager, announced the move on Sunday.

Darling has played in just eight games with the Hurricanes this season, holding a 3.33 GAA and .884 save percentage. He has spent much of the season in the AHL; in 14 games with the Charlotte Checkers, Darling has a 3.40 GAA and .882 save percentage.

“Since he’s been down there he’s had some good games and some bad games,” Waddell said to the Charlotte Observer. “He had a tough game the other night and his agent called me and said he would like to take a personal leave of absence and would we allow that to get his mind back together."

Waddell told Darling to "take a week" and said that Darling's decision is not performance-based.

“No, I think it’s him trying to get his mind around it," he said. "He’s obviously has had a tough year on the ice and he needs, from a mental standpoint, needs to regroup basically.

“We all know he’s had ups and downs in his career, and we’ll be supportive. He’s still under contract for two more years and we’ve got to see if we can get this thing back together.”

Darling played for the Blackhawks from 2014-17 before being traded to the Hurricanes on April 28, 2017. He signed a four-year, $16.6 million contract with the Hurricanes a week later.

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Blackhawks Talk Podcast: The Blackhawks losing streak extends to 8

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: The Blackhawks losing streak extends to 8

The Blackhawks losing streak extended to eight games with an overtime loss in Carolina, but there were some signs of improvement with the team. Pat Boyle and Steve Konroyd discuss Jeremy Colliton going to the “nuclear option,” pairing Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane on the same line. It seemed to work, but how did the other lines fare?

Plus, how close are we to seeing some calls made to Rockford and how important are the next two “winnable” games?

0:45 - Mindset of the team after their 8th straight loss

2:00 - Opposition getting quality chances against hawks goalies

4:00 - Toews and Kane playing on the same line

5:00 - Nick Schmaltz needs to take more shots

5:45 - Colliton's lines during overtime

8:00 - DeBrincat playing on a line with Kampf and Kahun

9:45 - Debrincat with more goals than Kane or Roenick through 100 career games

11:45 -  How close are the Blackhawks to making some callups from Rockford to give the team a boost?

14:00 - Hawks get a chance against 2 other struggling teams in Blues and Knights

Listen to the entire podcast here or in the embedded player below.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast

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Blackhawks' losing streak extends to eight in Cam Ward's return to Carolina

Blackhawks' losing streak extends to eight in Cam Ward's return to Carolina

It felt like the Blackhawks' seven-game losing streak was going to end Monday night. 

Cam Ward was stellar in net, the Blackhawks' offense started hot and Alex DeBrincat snapped his scoring drought. In the end, though, Monday's hot-start was for all for naught.

Despite holding a 2-0 lead in the second period, the Blackhawks were outscored 3-0 the rest of the game, falling to the Hurricanes 3-2 in overtime. The Blackhawks have now lost eight-straight games for the second-straight season (they lost eight-straight in February 2018). 

While the loss hurts, there are several positives to take from Monday's game. Cam Ward was stellar in his first start in Carolina as a visitor.

Ward, who played for the Hurricanes in his first 13 NHL seasons, made 37 saves on 40 shots. The two regulation goals that he allowed came with the Blackhawks a man-down, however. 

Ward also made a huge save halfway through the third period during a 4-on-4 situation, keeping the score knotted at 2-2.

Alex DeBrincat scored his ninth goal of the season to put the Blackhawks up 2-0. Not only was the goal DeBrincat's first since Oct. 25, but it also put him in exclusive company.

Monday was DeBrincat's 100th career NHL game; his 37 goals in those 100 games matches Artemi Panarin and Eric Daze through their first 100 games with the Blackhawks.

And while a loss is still a loss, the Blackhawks picked up a point for the first time since Oct. 28. There's always some positives, right?