Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Oh. My. Gawd.

Apparently when a player gets something bad handed to them, they're meant to suck it up. This is how fans feel achieve the proper balance from whiny bastard to proper model of decent human beings. You see hockey players are cyborgs from another dimension. When they're done being constructed, they get given a name, possibly European, and get shipped off to the NHL where the coaches save up money to buy them on christmas eve.

Why this has something to do with today's post? It is because the Habs management has made a move that makes me want to either cry or attempt to sit back and mutter "Oh yeah. Good point. Offense. Etc. Etc."

But how freaking humiliating is it when you are paid 3.5 million and management calls and goes "Hey you know about that second line we've promised you? Well me and my pal Latendresse got a little tipsy last night and I *kind* of promised him to play on the second line! Now you know how Kovalev threatens to fly his plane into my house whenever I mention demotion. Plus I've been looking at the fan forums and everyone seems to be hating on you. So I'm hoping they'll like me more if you kind of play... lower. Well you might be on the third... When they change really quickly and stuff... Yeah you're a fourth liner. Yeah. You want to stay at my summer house for the holidays?"

After all that, Samsonov has expressed his discontent. He is not happy. Now fans have reacted in certain ways. The haters which make up 80% of the fans (because fans are never satisfied save for one or two player usually including Koivu) have lashed out at him. Calling him a whiny kid who hasn't done squat and is making the team look bad.

"I'm getting paid too much to sit on the bench and watch hockey games and, if that's the case, we'll see where it goes from here," Samsonov added.

"I obviously made a commitment to this team. I brought my family here. I bought a house. I'm fully committed to this team, so hopefully we'll come up with something."

I'll admit how I felt after reading the article. At first I though "Haha. It's just a joke. It'll blow over". And call me a loser but I actually started crying a bit, not much but just a little teary here and there. I love this guy. Insanely. And I really felt sad for this guy, who shows fustration at not being able to provide for the team the way he should be. And you know, this guy actually cares! Sure he's paid 3.5 million, overpaid for what he's been doing lately but I can't help but stress that it's a UFA amount. To sign for less is insane considering you have the ability and people might think you're a little slow. He brought his girls over to Montreal too. Apparently his wife stayed in Detroit through his career and now he actually made the move to bring her along. And why can't he be angry? There is going to be media hounding him, he can't just hide his discontent. And he's not going to flip out and demand a Pronger style trade. There is the possibility if that he gets shafted, he'll become too expensive in terms of his ice time and maybe he'll see a new team.

And Samsonov is not a silly boy, he's still tactful throughout the whole interview. It seems more like an overreaction on the fans part when he's actually willing to see a compromise where he can deliver but definitely not on the 4th line. I don't really see the words "Montreal sucks" in there.

All the weeping and wailing aside, let's look at the move. He's the lowest on his line in points. However when he argues that he's had the kind of ice time that a fourth liner has, which can be reasonable considering he has the lowest +/- on his line (-1). Those goals that went through Huet like a sieve? Not all his fault honey. I actually have read in certain forums on Game Day Threads where a brave kid now and then will say "I blame Samsonov." even when he wasn't on the ice. Even when he was on his regular second line, he has achieved something defensively even to help. And interestingly, he has the best Shot Percentage of 28.6%. I mean I understand the kids wanting him to shoot but isn't it nice that he actually scores too?

What really hurts is that Latendresse of 0 points if being pushed up to replace him. Now I sense a bit of contradiction here. There's the "Oh no, we like our points real and we want to win games and points harhar." and here is Latendresse who hasn't proven anything pointwise but is going to go up because potentially he could score as much as Thornton! (okay that's not true but this is the kind of vibe I get. And you know I get really good vibes)

Next game is Bruins vs Habs. Yeah way to instill confidence against the Bruins by demoting a second line ex-Bruin player.

Enough of me whining, I'll explain how a bogan's mullet works another time.


Shan said...

I agree, and I think Samsonov is a great player. Montreal has played only 8 games, and he has 2G,2A. It's not stellar, but it's not bad. The fans are certainly overreacting. I think he'll get used to the MTL media pretty quickly. In fact, I think he should be playing with Latendresse, though making position and line changes is tricky.

Sherry said...

To be honest with you, I never saw Sammy as a first liner, more of a second liner perhaps. But if he works hard and tries to get his linemates to get their mojos going, he'll be able to get the ice time he wants.

This reminds me what happens with the Blue Jays when one of their hitters wanted more playing time. Basically he wrote something impolite on the club chalk board and there was such a media hubub eventually they just traded him away.

Not that I'm saying that'll happen to Sammy. Crap, forget I said anything.

Jordi said...

You jinxed it you did!

I really don't really mind Sammy moving lines, it sounds nice if he could actually provide something to the other lines. But to replace him with a rookie who still has no points afterwards makes little sense. And the whole media blow up is a bit scary. Not to mention it's portrayed as a huge outburst of a whiny kid. Which shocks me considering he was never really that kind of guy. I mean what really happened?