Mired in a three game losing streak and losers in four of six, the Montreal Canadiens need to get better efforts from a number of players — none more than Erik Cole.
The veteran forward has just 2G-2A-4PTS through 11 games this year. Given his veteran presence and big-money contract (four years, $18 million), much more is expected of Cole, and he addressed those expectations by texting his teammates following Saturday’s 6-0 drubbing against Toronto.
“Every team’s going to go through some tough times this year, and we’re in one right now,” Cole explained. “It’s up to us to get ourselves out of it.
“I told them that I plan on being better and being part of the solution. I think, judging by the responses, that it was good.”
Apparently Cole sent the message via a group chat he created during the lockout, to keep them up to date with CBA negotiations
and all the cool stuff he found on Groupon.
As for him being “part of the solution” — well, it sounds as though he’ll be solving stuff (temporarily) without usual linemates David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty.
The trio was split up at Monday’s practice. Brandon Prust skated with Desharnais and Cole while Pacioretty played with Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher.
“We gave those guys a lot of chances,” head coach Michel Therrien said of the Cole-Desharnais-Pacioretty line. “We spoke to those guys and they know where we’re [coming from].”