Tracking the Storm

Canes Confident Samsonov will Shine

Tuesday, 09.16.2008 / 10:55 AM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
X
Share with your Friends


Canes Confident Samsonov will Shine
As different as all the various season previews that have been trickling in over the last several weeks are, they all have plenty to say about one player: Sergei Samsonov.

Paul Branecky
Index | Archive
Some are “concerned” that he may not live up to his performance with the Hurricanes last season (32 points in 38 games), and some are less polite than that, saying he’s due to mail it in now that he has the security of a three-year deal.

The man who made that contract his number one priority this offseason, GM Jim Rutherford, obviously sees it differently.

”It’s funny how people form opinions on players when they don’t even see them in person or follow them,” said Rutherford.  “That’s a real danger for people to do that.  It’s probably the same people that said it was stupid for us to pick him up last year, and he was one of our best players from the time we picked him up.”

If you hadn’t followed Samsonov’s run with the Hurricanes last season very closely, it is easy to be skeptical.  Prior to joining the team via the waiver wire, he had been struggling in Chicago, posting no goals and only four assists in 23 games with the Blackhawks, culminating in a two-game stint in the AHL.

After that, it took him only four games with Carolina to equal his point total from Chicago, and he didn’t slow down for the rest of the season.  Only Eric Staal scored more goals, assists and points (42) than Samsonov did after joining the team on January 8.  He was good on the defensive end as well, posting a +6 plus/minus rating with Carolina, tied with Chad LaRose for tops among forwards in an offensive system that isn’t particularly friendly to that stat.

If you do think he’s just in it for the contract or the money this time around, he was an impending unrestricted free agent in Chicago, too, and wasn’t exactly on his way to a big payday at the time.  Someone of that mentality also would have capitalized on his own resurgence, tested the open market on July 1 and gone to the highest bidder.

Instead, he signed two weeks after the season ended on April 16, realizing that, after being on a few different teams where things didn’t work out, he had a pretty good thing going with the Canes.

”He’s real comfortable here, and he’s got his confidence,” said Rutherford.  “He got in a couple of situations where for whatever reason, not that they were bad situations, but he just wasn’t real comfortable.  But we like him a lot, he’s a highly-skilled player, he’s a true professional and I’m very confident he will continue to be one of our real good players.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 77 23 31 -13 54
J. Faulk 82 15 34 -19 49
E. Lindholm 81 17 22 -23 39
V. Rask 80 11 22 -14 33
J. Skinner 77 18 13 -24 31
N. Gerbe 78 10 18 -14 28
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. Staal 46 6 18 -6 24
J. Liles 57 2 20 -9 22
J. McClement 82 7 14 -7 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 22 24 5 .910 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 17 6 .900 2.72