Stars Notes: Cole on a Roll

Wednesday, 01.1.2014 / 11:33 PM CT / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
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Stars Notes: Cole on a Roll

Stars forward Erik Cole got off to a slow start this season, but he’s been on a roll lately. He scored two goals in Tuesday night’s win over the Los Angeles Kings and tallied twice in the Stars’ 4-1 win over Nashville to open the team’s current homestand. He scored eight goals in 15 games during the month of December, tying Tyler Seguin for the team lead.

“Just getting some good looks and some good opportunities from the guys that I’m playing with,” Cole said after Tuesday’s game against the Kings.

He had a season-high six shots on goal in that game against the Kings, topping the his previous mark of five he put on net in the Nashville game on Friday.

“I think Erik has played well for a good period of time. These last few weeks he has really played well for us and has skated well,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “He’s a big man that’s hard to control and when he’s skating, he’s a powerful body out there for us.”

Cole has really started to roll since he started playing on a line with Rich Peverley at center a couple weeks ago. That line has seen both Colton Sceviour and Alex Chiasson on the right side with Cole playing left wing. Cole has eight points (five goals, three assists) over the past six games.

“He uses his speed, he uses his body and he’s really good finding areas around the net,” said Peverley. “He’s obviously been doing a really good job, having a really good nose for the net lately. He’s a great player to play with. He’s scored 30 goals a few times in the league, so he knows what to do.”

Cole has scored 20 or more goals five times during his career, including two seasons where he hit the 30-goal mark. He scored 30 with Carolina in 2005-06 and he tallied a career-high 35 with Montreal in 2011-12. But last season the goal scoring well went a little dry. He got off to a sluggish start with Montreal in the lockout-shortened campaign, scoring just three in 19 games before being traded to Dallas for Michael Ryder in February. He had his ups and downs with the Stars as well, scoring six in 28 games.

There was another slow start this season. He scored just one goal in his first 19 games. He started the season on the top line with Jamie Benn and Seguin, but eventually started to get bounced around the lineup.

“I played through an injury for a while. Some other guys were going and I wasn’t really able to get back up the lineup,” Cole said. “But I feel like I can contribute and play a bigger role. Hopefully, it can continue and I can help take some of the load off our top guys.”

Cole currently ranks third on the Stars in goal scoring with 10 in 39 games. His 20 points rank fourth on the team. The 35-year-old is a left shot who usually plays the right wing, but he’s been playing left wing lately. He doesn’t think the change has made much of a difference. Neither does Ruff. The Dallas coach thinks it is Cole finding his stride and some chemistry, and right now it appears Cole has chemistry on a line with Peverley.

“I usually find it is a combination of two guys more than one guy going somewhere,” Ruff said. “It’s two guys on a line that will somehow get a little bit of a connection, and all of a sudden it will start to click.”

Stars on a roll

The Stars are on a roll with their seven-game points streak (5-0-2), but they’ve been rolling for quite some time now. They are 15-6-5 over their last 26 games for a .673 points percentage. They have the fifth best record as far as points percentage in the Western Conference during that stretch, which started with their 4-3 shootout win in Ottawa on Nov. 3. Only St. Louis (19-5-3/.759), Chicago (19-5-4/.750), Anaheim (18-5-4/.741) and Los Angeles (16-6-4/.692) have been better over that span of time.

December tidbits

*The Stars were 8-3-4 in December.

*They ranked 8th in the NHL in scoring during the month at 3.13 goals per game.

*Tyler Seguin led the Stars in scoring in December with 16 points (8 goals, 8 assists) in 13 games.

*Seguin and Erik Cole co-led the Stars in goal scoring with 8 apiece.

*Valeri Nichushkin ranked second in points during the month with 12 (5 goals, 7 assists).

*Nichushkin led the Stars with a plus-12 rating during the month.

*Defenseman Alex Goligoski led the Stars in ice time during December, averaging 26:37 per game. Brenden Dillon was next at 23:39.

*The Stars won 52.2 percent of faceoffs in December.

*Rich Peverley was the team’s top faceoff guy for the month, winning 62 percent (114 of 184).

*Kari Lehtonen was 6-3-4 in December with a 2.82 goals against average and a .914 save percentage.

*Dan Ellis was 2-0-0 with a 1.98 goals against average and .928 save percentage.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.




1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70


2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
J. Benn 13 5 10 2 15
J. Spezza 13 5 8 0 13
C. Eakin 13 1 7 -4 8
A. Goligoski 13 4 3 -6 7
P. Sharp 13 4 2 -4 6
P. Eaves 9 3 3 3 6
R. Faksa 13 3 2 2 5
M. Janmark 12 2 3 -3 5
C. Sceviour 11 2 3 1 5
J. Klingberg 13 1 3 -5 4
K. Lehtonen 6 3 0 .899 2.81
A. Niemi 1 3 2 .865 3.29 is the official Web site of DSE Hockey Club, L.P.  The Stars name and logos are registered trademarks of the NHL and the Stars. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2016 DSE Hockey Club, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

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