March 10th, 2012: Erik Cole takes advantage of Alexander Edler for the second time on the night and starts a break up the ice. His first shot is stopped by Roberto Luongo, but Luongo can't find the loose puck and Cole bangs it home. This goal was an individual play off the rush.
March 12th, 2012: David Desharnais tries to center the puck but Cole is tied up, and it goes to the corner. Pacioretty causes some disruption in the Sabres zone and they fail to clear the puck, which comes back to Desharnais in the high slot. After faking a shot, Desharnais tosses a behind the back pass to Cole, who slaps it past an unsuspecting Ryan Miller. This goal was a team effort on a zone play.
March 14th, 2012: Aaron Palushaj gathers the puck in the defensive zone and lobs it out to Petteri Nokelainen. Nokelainen pushes the puck up the ice to Cole, who comes down the right wing, and gets stopped by Ben Bishop. The puck comes right back to Cole though, and he sends his second attempt into the mesh. Cole then high fives the referee on his way by, because Erik Cole is awesome and can do what he wants. This goal was an individual play off the rush.
March 23rd, 2012: On this day Cole woke up and decided he really didn't like the Ottawa Senators. Cole picks up the puck along the left side boards in his own zone, then turns on the jets to blitz by several Sens. After gaining the zone he lets a wrist shot rip and beats Craig Anderson. But one wasn't enough. This goal was an individual play off the rush.
March 23rd, 2012: Just 4 minutes later, Desharnais feeds P.K. Subban who quickly let's a shot go. Cole had worked himself behind Anderson and found the loose puck that trickled through the goaltender and put it into the empty net. This goal was a team effort on a zone play.
March 23rd, 2012: Determined to beat the Senators all by himself, Cole drifts to the right side of the net after Desharnais wins a faceoff. Max Pacioretty passes it up to Andrei Markov, who one-touches it over to Subban who puts it on net. The shot is stopped by Cole is right there on the doorstep and rips it home for a natural hat trick in just 5 minutes and 12 seconds. This goal was a team effort on a zone play.
March 27th, 2012: Desharnais gives the puck to Cole to gain the Panthers zone on a powerplay. Cole brings it down low and passes back up to Subban at the point, who who gives it back to Desharnais. Desharnais drives the middle and gives the puck to Pacioretty down low. Pacioretty then centers the puck to Cole in front of the net, who scores on Scott Clemmensen. This goal was a team effort on a zone play.
March 31st, 2012: Pacioretty grabs the puck in the defensive zone and blazes up the ice. He gains the Capitals zone and takes a shot that's stopped by Michal Neuvirth, then crashes the net. Cole finds the rebound and threads the needle to beat the flailing goaltender. This goal was a team play off the rush.
April 4th, 2012: Pacioretty recovers the puck in the neutral zone and gains the Lightning zone. He then quickly passes to Desharnais, who sees Cole set for a one-timer on the right side and sends the puck over. Cole smashes the puck into the net before Sebastien Caron can get anywhere near it. This goal was a team effort off the rush.
April 4th, 2012: On the powerplay Pacioretty sends the puck up to Andrei Markov at the right point. Markov sets up Tomas Plekanec for a one-timer that Cole deflects past Caron for a goal. This goal was a team effort on a zone play.
April 7th, 2012: Pacioretty grabs the loose puck in the defensive zone and finds a streaking Cole with a cross ice pass. Cole turnstile's Cody Franson and barrels down on young Ben Scrivens, lifting a wrister over his shoulder and into the net. This goal was an individual effort off the rush.
Let's total up Erik Cole's goals into the previously defined categories to figure out what we can learn.
|Goals||Goals on zone plays||Goals off the rush||Goals on individual plays|
Cole lead the Habs in scoring, and he's also seemingly lead them in individual goals. What's most interesting though, is that he's the only player so far that's scored more often on zone plays than off the rush. It's not that Cole is bad off the rush, he's brilliant there, he just scored on a ton of set plays.
I have a feeling that this high total of goals on zone plays has to do with his high number of powerplay goals. Cole's 11 goals on the man advantage were more than double the next highest Hab, a tie between Tomas Plekanec and P.K. Subban.
The overall splits for Cole were that just 45.7% of his goals came off the rush. However just 3 of Cole's first 14 goals this season were off the rush (21.4%), while 13 of his final 21 goals (61.9%) came that way. Like Plekanec, it seems like Cole had less success on zone plays in the second half than the first.
Cole breaks the pattern of 9 goals on individual plays, but 31.4% of his goals being on individual plays is comparable to Pacioretty, indicating that both had good linemates.