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June 18, 2006

Erik Cole

Glen Wesley


GLEN WESLEY: Obviously, it's gone and over with, and we move on here today and we got to play a whole lot better than we did obviously last night, so -- we have been in this position before, Game 7 against Buffalo, so you know, obviously the stakes are higher and we have been through this situation before, so everybody is relaxed ready to go.

Q. What do you have to do to -- it was 3-1. Everyone has sort of written them off. What do you have to do to write them off for good?
GLEN WESLEY: Well, I think the biggest thing we have to do is get skating the way we did earlier in the series, and we haven't -- we obviously didn't do that last night, but we haven't done it consistently for 60 minutes.
I think for us to be able to play the way that -- the aggressive style that we play, we need to be able to do that on a consistent basis. If we don't, I think you can see the results when we don't do that.

Q. How physical has this series been?
GLEN WESLEY: It hasn't been any different than any other series. I think I answered that yesterday that really, you know, every line really has -- you know, guys that are going to crash and bang, so it hasn't been any more physical than probably the Buffalo or even New Jersey series.

Q. They have been going into it that the longer the series went they might be able to wear you down because you didn't have a lay off. Does that play into it at this stage the wearing down?
GLEN WESLEY: When you get to this point, I don't believe so. We're one game, whoever wins takes it all, so I think that I think that excites everybody in our locker room, and we know what the stakes are. I am sure everybody will be ready to go and there will be a lot of adrenaline flowing here now.

Q. Erik, are you sore playing your first game in such a long time?
ERIK COLE: Well, I mean, obviously a lot of guys on that team jump when they hit you, so it's to be expected that you are going to get hit in the head. I am really -- it's not hits to the head, to the side or anything like that that I am worried about, it's about getting run from behind into the boards again.
I felt comfortable. I looked for a hit my first shift, didn't find it, then one found me my second shift. But it was good. I felt comfortable from there on and I thought I have played pretty well, but kind of ran out of steam third period a little bit.

Q. Is your neck sore?
ERIK COLE: No. I feel fine today. It was a little, I don't know, dehydration, or what, from the two days of travel to get out to Edmonton then travel down to Denver to get the CT scan and get back.
Just cramping up a little bit, and we took care of that right after the game and had a good night's sleep.

Q. Three and a half months being out and coming in now -- (inaudible)
ERIK COLE: I don't think I can ever really change the way I play, and not at this point in my career. I think that I am not really trying to be a difference maker. I am just trying to contribute to the success of the team.
We have got a lot of great players in this room that have done a great job to get us to this point. They have done a great job all year. So I am just thankful that I have the opportunity to be a part of it.

Q. It were you medically cleared to play?
ERIK COLE: Yeah, our doctor here in Raleigh out of Duke saw the films in the morning, and was nice enough to jump on the family charter and come out and sit down with me around lunchtime with Peter Friesen and our team orthopod, Dr. Martini, reviewed the CT scan which I had already seen it.
I saw it in Denver, but he went through it a little bit more detail and.

Q. What exactly --
ERIK COLE: Basically, the risk that I was at last night and I am at right now is no different than the risk I am going to be at in September. It's three and a half months since the injury, and that's when the majority of the healing process is moving along.
Perhaps I will be at a slighter decreased risk come September, but it's not going to change much from now until then.

Q. Seems like this series is physically really taking a toll on a lot of players in this locker room. You are probably the freshest guy here. How will that affect your role tomorrow?
ERIK COLE: It definitely going to benefit me. I can come home and going to get a good meal, get a good night's rest in my own bed, come to the rink and go through a normal game day routine.
8:00 start, I think that will help, rather than the 6:00, kind of feels a little rushed, so I am excited. I think that this building should be rocking tomorrow night and like I said I am real thankful that I got the opportunity to play with these guys.

Q. You have been watching the whole Playoffs from upstairs. How you got the feel of it -- what does this team need to do having now lost two games up 3-1 and here it is a deciding 7th game?
ERIK COLE: I think it's just execution and, you know, some more desire. I don't think we played with the same passion that we had to get us to this point.
I think that Game 5 obviously, a tough break you go in the power play in overtime you think that that's your opportunity to chest out the game and close out the series and it doesn't happen. You go into their building and you don't get a bounce, you don't get a call, you don't get anything; that's the way it goes.
I think it will be exciting to come in here tomorrow and play in front of our fans.

Q. When you say passion, anything to attribute to fatigue, not for you, but the other guys?
ERIK COLE: I don't know if you can call it fatigue. I don't know if you can call it the travel. I don't know what you want to point the finger at, but the bottom line is we need to play better and harder. We have got a chance to win the Stanley Cup on our home ice, last game of the year, so I would expect us to bring it tomorrow night.

Q. Testing Markkanen?
ERIK COLE: I am not positive that the shot clock was all that accurate, but it didn't seem all that accurate the past couple of games there either.
So, you know, you can't sit there and look up at the shot clock and let that dictate how you think the game is going. I thought we did really good job in 9 first period have coming out and playing well through, especially the first ten minutes where they were coming at us hard and the crowd was right into it from the start, and I think that if we can come out and have that, the same start or better then continue it for the full 60 minutes then we'll be successful.

Q. A week ago your coach suggested it was almost irresponsible to get -- to put you in the lineup. What changed? Was it just the CT scan showed that much more improvement?
ERIK COLE: We weren't even going to have the CT scan done until I made the comment after I learned of Doug's injury on the plane the next morning. We didn't come to the rink the morning, we just met at the plane, but I made just a comment to Jeff Daniels that, you know, if Dougie can't go does that mean I am in?
I just kind of shook his head at me. I made sure he mentioned it to Peter when we stopped in Des Moines. He spoke with the team doctor and we just kind of got to thinking, you know, why not take a look? You know, it won't hurt just to have a look and see how much further along the healing process was, and thankfully it was far enough along that I was able to play.

Q. Did anyone try to discourage you, owner, wife?
ERIK COLE: No, everyone was really supportive about the decision. It was great that doctor Richardson was on the family plane so he was able to meet with my wife and my mom and dad that were on the plane and answered their questions.
Kind of reassured them, and before I had even talked to the doctor, my wife was calling me and she was pretty excited. So, yeah, it was emotional for my family and I am sure for management and everything, but it worked out.

End of FastScripts...

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