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Fantasy Focus: Erik Cole
Fantasy Focus: Erik Cole(2011-08-06 12:40 posted by Norman Szcyrek)

The Habs biggest 2011 free agent signing, Erik Cole, will likely fit in on the top two lines, and gives the team a true power forward up front, something they've been lacking for a long time.  Will Cole, a known Habs killer, excel in Montreal or will he struggle like he did the last time he left Carolina?

2010-11

Cole bounced back from a sub-par, injury filled 2009-10 season, with a matching pair of goals & assists [26]. He played in all 82 games last season, playing his usual gritty style with great skating to boot.

Season Stats: 82 GP, 26 Goals, 26 Assists, 52 Points, -1, 3 PPG, 1 SHG, 9 GWG, 201 Shots, 18:27 TOI, 225 Hits, 34 Blocked Shots, 65 Takeaways

5 Year Averages

GP: 69
Goals: 21
Assists: 23
Plus/Minus: -1
PIMS: 60
PPG: 6
GWG: 4
Shots: 168

2011-12 Role

Cole will likely start the season a top line winger with Tomas Plekanec at centre and Mike Cammalleri on the other flank. The position might be juggled if the chemistry is not there, since the Scott Gomez & Brian Gionta line may be a better fit. In either line, his size, skating and energy will be an asset for his linemates. His veteran presence should provide a mentorship for young forwards Max Pacorietty & Andrei Kostitsyn.

Projected Stats

Cole's injury history is well known, and obviously a concern since he plays a high energy style. After signing with the Habs, the Oswego, New York native admitted to the media, that as a kid he was a Habs fan, which helps explain his higher performance while playing against the Canadiens. I hope that effort carries forward for the next 4 seasons. Cole is capable of scoring 25 goals and 25 assists in the Habs system.

GP: 78
Goals: 25
Assists: 25
Plus/Minus: +5
PIMS: 64
PPG: 10
GWG: 8
Shots: 210

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