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Wild vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Canes Confident Samsonov will Shine

Tuesday, 09.16.2008 / 10:55 AM / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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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
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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 MTL 61 40 16 5 167 135 85
2 NYI 63 41 20 2 202 174 84
3 NYR 60 38 16 6 190 148 82
4 TBL 63 38 19 6 207 167 82
5 DET 60 34 15 11 176 156 79
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 63 33 20 10 184 159 76
8 BOS 61 30 22 9 161 160 69
9 FLA 61 26 22 13 145 172 65
10 PHI 62 26 25 11 164 181 63
11 OTT 59 26 23 10 167 161 62
12 NJD 62 25 27 10 139 164 60
13 CBJ 60 26 30 4 157 189 56
14 TOR 61 25 31 5 170 185 55
15 CAR 60 23 30 7 137 159 53
16 BUF 62 19 38 5 120 207 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 60 11 28 -14 39
E. Staal 55 18 18 -9 36
E. Lindholm 59 11 16 -15 27
J. Skinner 55 16 9 -15 25
R. Nash 57 7 15 -8 22
N. Gerbe 56 7 14 -11 21
V. Rask 58 8 11 -16 19
J. McClement 60 4 12 1 16
J. Staal 24 4 11 -1 15
A. Semin 36 2 12 -8 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 16 19 4 .914 2.35
A. Khudobin 7 11 3 .906 2.60