Chicago Blackhawks: Scott Darling Days Until Banner Raising

By Keith Schultz

We had so much fun doing our Countdown to Faceoff series last season that we decided to do it again.  In case you’re new to the series, we’ll do a roster preview as we count down the days until the Chicago Blackhawks raise their 6th Stanley Cup Banner on October 7th season opener against the New York Rangers.

Every year there seems to be a phrase on Twitter that we just overblow and kill and this past season was a perfect example.  Following years of #FreePirri and #FreeMorin, this past season was #LemontNativeScottDarling.  The path that Scott Darling took was incredible and to actually make it to the NHL is a wonderful story, and the fact that he was from the Chicagoland area made his story that much better during the 2014-2015 season.

Scott Darling looked to be just another goalie going to Rockford to play along side Michael Leighton at training camp, but his size and solid play caught the eye of Joel Quenneville, and when Corey Crawford took a misstep at a Rock Concert, Darling seized his shot at the NHL.  It helped that Darling played lights out when he did see action, and it meshed well with the fact that the coaching staff never trusted Antti Raanta which made for a strange story on Wednesday.

Darling came in and in 14 regular season games went 9-4 with a .936 save percentage and a 1.94 save percentage, but it wasn’t his regular season stats that gave him legendary status in Chicago. In the opening game of the playoffs, it looked like

Corey Crawford

missed his wake up call and the Hawks were down 3-0 in what seemed liked minutes.  Darling replaced him for the second period and wouldn’t allow the puck past him all the way through 3 overtimes until

Duncan Keith

scored the game winner. Here is the highlight save by Darling to preserve the tie at the time.

Scott Darling would pick up three wins in the first round before giving the net back to Corey Crawford, but his legend grew bigger with that opening series against the Nashville Predators.

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When the Chicago Blackhawks 7 weeks later hoisted the Stanley Cup, Darling became the first Chicago area native to ever win the Stanley Cup with his hometown team the Blackhawks.

Darling signed an extension, and with Antti Raanta traded away the backup goalie spot looks to be Darling’s for a long time in Chicago. We may be over the #LemontNativeScottDarling posts, but it was a great surprising ride last season with hopefully more fun twists to the story still to come!

33 Days left until the start of the season, Are you getting excited?

Next: The Airing Of Grievances

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