Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 10/18/09 at 11:51 AM ET
While the Hurricanes are struggling to find offense and to find themselves, things are looking good down on the farm. On Saturday, the Albany River Rats went up to Glens Falls and defeated the Adirondack Phantoms 2-1 in the first of twelve games between the two teams. Justin Peters stopped 31 of 32 shots and Jerome Samson scored the game-winner 2:21 into overtime. Through five games, the undrafted right wing has tallied nine (4/5) points.
Surprisingly, this game featured only one fight, and it occurred early in the first. So far, I’m wrong with my prediction that this series would see more fighting majors (2) than goals (3).
The Rats find themselves atop the East division of the AHL, and I’ve read some comments by Albany natives comparing this team to the 1995-96 team who won the AHL’s equivalent of the President’s Trophy with a record of 54-19-7.
At 1.8 points per game, Samson is leading the league. He also shares the league lead with two game winning goals. 2008 draftee Zach Boychuk has six (1/5) points and 2007 third round selection Drayson Bowman has five (3/2) points so far. Boychuk started the 2008-09 season on the big team and Bowman was called up, but did not play, in last spring’s playoff run for the Hurricanes.
Samson, for some reason, is never even on a short list of players to be called up. This summer, he just barely made the first round of cuts in training camp.
Despite a bunch of injuries, Carolina has yet to make any call-ups this season. The way things are going with the Canes’ blueline, I would imagine that the first callup might be for a defensman. But the way Samson is playing, it would be hard not to consider him the first time the Canes need a forward.
Still, there must be something that the coaches don’t like about Samson. He was playing well for Albany last year, and I made a little bit of noise for him. Obviously, I can only see his stats while the Hurricanes coaches and front office see much more of him. There must be something intangible that they don’t like about that kid. I wish I knew what it is, because I’d really like to see this kid play. I guess I’ll just have to wait.
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About Red and Black Hockey
David Lee is a restaurant manager with an unused degree in political science. He can be found at Carolina Hurricanes games, Scrabble tournaments and indie-rock shows. Sometimes, all in the same day.