Flyers vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Gameday: Hurricanes vs. Flyers

Samson Excited About Elevated Role

Tuesday, 01.10.2012 / 12:24 PM ET / 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.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - NYR 76 48 21 7 231 179 103
2 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
3 x - TBL 78 47 24 7 250 204 101
4 PIT 76 42 23 11 210 190 95
5 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
6 WSH 77 42 25 10 227 190 94
7 DET 76 40 23 13 221 208 93
8 BOS 77 39 25 13 204 198 91
9 OTT 76 38 26 12 220 204 88
10 FLA 77 35 27 15 192 210 85
11 CBJ 76 37 35 4 210 234 78
12 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
13 NJD 77 31 33 13 170 197 75
14 CAR 76 28 37 11 176 208 67
15 TOR 77 29 42 6 201 245 64
16 BUF 76 21 47 8 148 255 50

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 71 22 28 -12 50
J. Faulk 76 15 32 -19 47
E. Lindholm 75 16 21 -20 37
J. Skinner 71 18 13 -22 31
V. Rask 74 11 20 -13 31
N. Gerbe 72 9 17 -13 26
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. McClement 76 7 13 -5 20
J. Staal 40 4 16 -6 20
J. Liles 51 2 17 -8 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 20 22 5 .909 2.43
A. Khudobin 8 15 6 .904 2.60