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Wild vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Gameday: Hurricanes vs. Flyers

Samson Excited About Elevated Role

Tuesday, 01.10.2012 / 12:24 PM / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Gameday: Hurricanes vs. Flyers
Jerome Samson has played in 30 games for the Carolina Hurricanes in the past two seasons, but none quite like tonight.

Michael Smith
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Samson will be slotted in a scoring role on the third line alongside Alexei Ponikarovsky and Jussi Jokinen. It’s a spot fit for Samson, a prolific scorer at the American Hockey League level.

“The last few years in the ‘A’, I’ve been a guy that Jeff [Daniels] has relied on to put the puck in the net,” he said. “I’m looking forward to the game tonight and the third line. [Hopefully] I’ll have more ice time than I did last year and show a little more.”

Two seasons ago in Albany, Samson recorded 78 points (37g, 41a) in 74 games. Last season with Charlotte, Samson had 54 points (26g, 28a) in 53 games. In 30 games with the Hurricanes, Samson has just four assists. He’s ready to prove, however, that he can produce in the National Hockey League.

“Tonight is going to be my chance to prove to them what I can do,” he said. “Hopefully I can mix in good minutes, good shifts and play something that’s closer to my game that I play [in Charlotte] instead of just playing five minutes a night.”

Over his 30 games with the Hurricanes, Samson has played as many as 12 minutes and as little as three. His average is 6:51, a far cry from the scoring-role minutes he logs in the AHL.

Based on his production this season – 27 points (15g, 12a) in 37 games – and in seasons past, it was only a matter of time before Samson got the call to make the trip to Raleigh. He would have rather it been sooner, but in his situation, who wouldn’t? He’s just happy to be here now.

“It’s something you don’t have control over,” he said. “There’s not much you can do besides just keep doing what you do and try to be the best down there.”

“He deserves to be brought up from his play,” head coach Kirk Muller said. “You can see the pattern of the merit system. If they deserve it, they should be up here.”

Based on Muller’s conversations with Jeff Daniels and the coaching staff that’s had a look at Samson this season and recently, he was deemed the right choice. Samson has five goals in his last nine games.

Muller has gotten looks at Drayson Bowman and Zac Dalpe, and this will be his first chance to evaluate Samson first-hand. Samson said he is excited about playing under the new coaching staff, something he kept a close eye on while Bowman and Dalpe were in Raleigh.

“They played power play, first line, top minutes,” Samson said. “Obviously I would have loved for it to be me, but I was loving it. They finally had the shot of showing what they could do.”

With Chad LaRose out with an upper-body injury, Samson up from Charlotte and the Philadelphia Flyers bringing a balanced, four-line attack in tonight, Muller reshuffled his lines. For a look at the lines the team put together in this morning’s skate, click here.

“We needed to balance our lines tonight,” he said. “It’s tough to keep that first line (Jokinen-Staal-Ruutu) together and balance it all.”

Philadelphia has won two of three meetings between the two teams this season. The Canes took the most recent game, a 4-2 win in Philadelphia. Cam Ward will start in net tonight.

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 65 41 18 6 175 146 88
2 NYI 66 42 21 3 211 185 87
3 TBL 66 40 20 6 217 173 86
4 NYR 63 39 17 7 197 155 85
5 DET 62 36 15 11 182 160 83
6 PIT 63 36 18 9 182 158 81
7 WSH 66 35 21 10 194 164 80
8 BOS 63 31 22 10 168 165 72
9 FLA 65 28 23 14 159 185 70
10 PHI 65 28 25 12 173 187 68
11 OTT 62 28 23 11 176 167 67
12 NJD 64 27 27 10 144 165 64
13 TOR 65 26 34 5 175 199 57
14 CBJ 63 26 33 4 163 201 56
15 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
16 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 62 12 28 -18 40
E. Staal 57 18 20 -12 38
E. Lindholm 61 11 16 -18 27
J. Skinner 57 16 10 -17 26
N. Gerbe 58 7 16 -10 23
R. Nash 59 7 15 -10 22
V. Rask 60 8 12 -16 20
J. McClement 62 6 13 3 19
J. Staal 26 4 12 -4 16
A. Nestrasil 34 4 11 4 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 17 20 4 .911 2.43
A. Khudobin 7 11 3 .905 2.61