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Darling Setback

October 2, 2018, 1:03 PM ET [10 Comments]
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Matt Ross

The Hurricanes have just announced they will be starting the season without Scott Darling in the blue paint.

Darling went down with an injury in the Canes final preseason game against the Nashville Predators over the weekend. It's the classic "lower-body injury" so don't expect to know much more beyond that. He's rumored to be out for at least a couple weeks - the "at least" part of that feels open-ended and makes me think it could possibly be more time off if need be; but who knows.

This is certainly a setback in Darling's already-shaky career with the Canes. Whether it's a big setback, or a small one, remains to be seen. He certainly looked stronger this preseason - especially that first go-around with the Preds. So hopefully he bounces back.

Petr Mrazek will get another shot to be "the" guy - which he struggled to do in Detroit and Philly. Personally, I think he's looked really solid in preseason and benefited from the healthy competition with Darling. He seems to be playing a more technically sound game - relying on angles, smart movement and making himself look big.

The Canes also announced the claiming of veteran goalie Curtis McElhinney off waivers from the Leafs in order to backup Mrazek. McElhinney lost the backup job to Garrett Sparks and was placed on waivers by Toronto yesterday. According to The Hockey News scouting report, McElhinney has good size and covers a lot of the net and a good locker room guy. He apparently can lack mobility and his consistency struggles when used for long stretches. Combine that with the fact that he looks like an average suburban dad and you have yourself a standard backup.

All for now.
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