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Kirk Muller finally gets his first win as Hurricanes coach

Dec 8, 2011, 12:42 AM EDT

Kirk Muller AP

After failing in his first four games as an NHL head coach, Kirk Muller finally got a W. The Carolina Hurricanes beat the Edmonton Oilers 5-3, which stopped the Canes’ overall losing streak at seven.

Sure, it was against a fast but flawed Oilers team. And yes, Edmonton trotted out struggling backup Devan Dubnyk for this game. Muller & Co. probably don’t care about the “Yeah, but …” comments right now, though.

It was a team effort as five different players provided Carolina’s goals and Tomas Kaberle was the only player with a multi-point game thanks to two assists.

Even Cam Ward can build off this performance. Allowing three goals on 25 shots is far from great, but after going through six starts without a victory, Ward will take any win he can get.

Carolina remains the worst team in the East and with 22 points in 30 games played, it’s quite possible that the Anaheim Ducks and Columbus Blue Jackets might push them all the way down to the basement of the NHL.* Still, Carolina’s best years included surprising hot streaks, so this is a reason for some optimism, if nothing else.

* – Anaheim has 21 points with 27 games played while Columbus has 19 pts. in 27 GP.

  1. icedtearex - Dec 8, 2011 at 11:15 AM

    What optimism,the team is still something akin to ECHL talent wise after you skim the top 3 players. Even the ghost of Toe Blake couldnt help them. If the owners cannot figure it out from there,its the basement for a long long time.

    • lonespeed - Dec 8, 2011 at 2:34 PM

      That comment wouldn’t be accurate even if you had said AHL. There’s not a team in the league who couldn’t find a roster spot for Eric Staal, Tuomo Ruutu, Jussi Jokinen, Chad LaRose, Jamie McBain, Brandon Sutter, Jiri Tlusty, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Joni Pitkanen, Cam Ward or Jeff Skinner.

      Yea, the Hurricanes don’t have much depth and they are very young, but there are eleven names that could find work anywhere in the NHL.

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