BROSSARD – His adjustment period behind him, Erik Cole
is hitting his stride as a member of the Canadiens.
After a tough start to the season, the Habs have gotten back on track with two crucial back-to-back wins over tough opponents. Helping lead the charge; the team’s biggest offseason acquisition, Erik Cole.
“You know, if he had come to a different team other than the Canadiens, he would probably have started off a lot more relaxed. The media puts a lot of pressure on a player in his situation, and then he puts a lot of pressure on himself too. Now he’s gotten a couple of goals and it’s probably easier to relax and to just play his game,” mentioned Jaroslav Spacek with a grin -- a pro at dealing the Montreal media in his third campaign with the Habs.
|Erik Cole celebrates goal with Michael Cammalleri. |
“Spacio said that? What a nice guy,” kidded Cole when his teammate’s comments reached his ears. “I didn’t really feel like anybody was being overly hard on me. I’ve just be trying to bring my best game and do as much as I can. Obviously I knew there were going to be some growing pains with the transition. Every game now I’m feeling more and more comfortable and hopefully I can continue to build on that and we can all continue to build as a group.”
Since finding themselves together on the same line, beginning with the Maple Leafs' visit to the Bell Centre, Cole and sophomore David Desharnais have been demonstrating some impressive chemistry. Cole has notched two goals and an assist in his last three games, while Desharnais has posted three points of his own.
“Things have been going well. I think he got some unfair criticisms since the beginning of the season,” dropped Desharnais. “Sometimes it takes a little while to adjust when you become part of a new team and a new organization with different players and a different style. He’s hitting his stride now and it’s great to be playing with him.”
After watching the highly-touted power-forward lead all skaters in each of the last three match-ups with game-high tallies of six shots per game, head-coach Jacques Martin couldn’t agree more.
“It’s often just as simple as getting through that adjustment period with your game and the way you work,” explained Martin. “The past few games, we’ve seen Erik Cole be the kind of player we wanted him to be for us – a big forward that can go hard to the net, that can carry the puck, win his battles and finish his checks.”
While things have certainly been looking sunnier for the Habs in last week of October, Cole was quick to point out that this is no time for the team to take their foot off the gas.
“The key now is that we have to keep winning. We can’t just win a few games and become complacent,” finished Cole, who along with the rest of the team has his sights set firmly on their Saturday night rematch with the Bruins.
Justin Fragapane is a writer for canadiens.com.
Postgame show: Erik Cole
The Numbers Game - Oct. 27, 2011
No pain, no gain
Perry Pearn relieved of his duties