Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 10/12/08 at 09:00 PM ET
Tonight, Erik Cole and the Edmonton Oilers will play their first game of the season, at home against the Avs. I will be among the Caniac nation keeping an eye on our boy.
The Oilers fans have high hopes for him, as well they should. Cole spent six seasons here in Carolina electrifying fans with his speed, skill, creativity and toughness. Cole scored 129 regular season goals for the Canes and six playoff goals, all of which came in 2002. By far and away, the biggest goal he’s ever scored was the game-tying goal in the Miracle at Molson. If Cole doesn’t score that goal, the Habs would have gone up three games to one in the Eastern semifinals. Instead, the Canes tied it, forced overtime and won. That absolutely killed the Habs. Carolina won the next two games easily to win the series, then beat Toronto in six games en route to losing the Stanley Cup to Detroit in five games.
Cole was also one of many sources of inspiration for the Canes as they advanced to and won the Stanley Cup in 2006. He was out of the lineup for four months with a broken neck, but returned for games six and seven against the Oil.
It was a sad day when Cole was traded away, but it was the only option. Carolina needed some defensive help and Cole had the most trade value out of guys not named Rod Brind’Amour or Eric Staal.
It’s way too early to officially pass judgment, but so far Carolina is very happy with how Joni Pitkänen has fit in on the blue line.
Andy from Battle of Alberta has predicted a goal for Colesy tonight. He scored on opening night last season, and on opening night in 2006, but not in 2005.
I’m guessing he’ll have an assist, but no goal tonight.
Either way, we’re all wishing good luck to Erik.
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About Red and Black Hockey
David Lee is a restaurant manager with an unused degree in political science. He can be found at Carolina Hurricanes games, Scrabble tournaments and indie-rock shows. Sometimes, all in the same day.