Goaltender Scott Darling was viewed as one of the best backup goaltenders in the NHL during his three seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks.  His play here earned him a big four-year, $16.6 million contract this past summer as the Carolina Hurricanes could offer him two things the Blackhawks couldn’t; playing time and big money.

Darling’s first season as a number one goaltender has not gone well.  He posted a 3.06 goals-against average and .890 save percentage and he has essentially lost the starting job to veteran Cam Ward. Despite the struggles, Darling was thrilled to be in a familiar place Thursday night.

"I was just happy," Darling said, per Tracy Myers of NHL.com. "I was back here, not in a vindictive way. I was excited to be here and I've had nothing but great feelings towards the Hawks. It was great to be back at the United Center and have all my friends and family at the game. I'm really happy with the way the night ended."

Darling’s first trip back to the United Center since leaving for Carolina including a video tribute and his first win since February 9.

"I know I didn't have the best start to the year and I had some bad games. I guess that happens," he said. "The last two, three months I've been doing the right things and playing pretty good but it just hasn't gone my way. I just have to stick with it."

There is no doubt that Chicago Blackhawks fans will be rooting for Darling to turn things around…..just no more big games at the United Center please! 

Source: NHL.com
Image Credit: Getty Images