Aug 24, 2013, 9:07 PM EDT
For better or worse, the Carolina Hurricanes’ core players are locked up for the foreseeable future. Even so, there’s at least one figure in the franchise who has a lot to prove next season: head coach Kirk Muller.*
So far, the results haven’t been particularly promising, but let’s not forget that Muller hasn’t really received a full season to prove himself just yet.
Sure, he was in place in 2013, but that was just a 48-game campaign with virtually no training camp. Muller took over the Hurricanes gig during the 2011-12 season, so this represents his first opportunity to have a traditional training camp and generally install things more naturally.
Even so, it’s a challenging situation, as you can see from Hurricanes Day at PHT.
- Muller must keep an expensive group of big-money players motivated and focused, even though most of them enjoy the comfort of long-term deals.
- Cam Ward hopes to bounce back, but if Anton Khudobin is more than just a product of playing behind Zdeno Chara in Boston, then Muller needs to give his backup a nice amount of reps. Managing goalie duos is an underrated challenge for head coaches.
- Finding some way to make the team’s inefficient special teams units more efficient would provide a greater margin of error.
- He faces the challenge of the newly formed Metropolitan Division, which should almost certainly provide tougher competition than the often-putrid Southeast Division.
It won’t be easy, but at least Muller will get to do things his way in 2013-14. One can only guess how many – if any – more chances he’ll receive if it doesn’t work out next season, though.
* – At least since it seems like GM Jim Rutherford is approaching a Darcy Regier-level of job security.
More Hurricanes Day at PHT fun
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There he is with Patrick Bordeleau’s glove in his face.
Apr 23, 2014, 2:43 PM EDT
Physical battle starting to take its toll.
Apr 23, 2014, 2:37 PM EDT
Are changes needed?
Apr 23, 2014, 2:33 PM EDT
All the goals came against Ilya Bryzgalov, which is worth mentioning.
Apr 23, 2014, 1:51 PM EDT
All games can be seen on either NBC, NBCSN or CNBC.
Apr 23, 2014, 1:26 PM EDT
First time he’s been scratched in the playoffs in 10 years.
Apr 23, 2014, 1:10 PM EDT
Two of the NHL’s best offenses have struggled with the man advantage.
Apr 23, 2014, 12:45 PM EDT
“That’s what made them successful because they believed in what they were doing.”
Apr 23, 2014, 11:53 AM EDT
A “real steady force back there” must now be replaced.
Apr 23, 2014, 11:26 AM EDT
Colorado forward is expected to take home the honors.
Apr 23, 2014, 11:16 AM EDT
“He didn’t get to play enough hockey this season, so he’s still eager to play.”
Apr 23, 2014, 11:02 AM EDT
Chicago’s been tough to beat at home in the playoffs.
Apr 23, 2014, 10:58 AM EDT
Can Columbus rebound from its Game 3 collapse?
Apr 23, 2014, 9:53 AM EDT
He spent three seasons with the Flyers.
Apr 23, 2014, 9:20 AM EDT
He’s been out since April 10.
Apr 23, 2014, 8:25 AM EDT
It’s that or hit the road down 3-1.
Apr 23, 2014, 2:17 AM EDT
They’ll be facing elimination on Thursday.
Apr 23, 2014, 1:25 AM EDT
Stunner at the Staples Center.
Apr 23, 2014, 12:07 AM EDT
Impressive, but just his first marker of the series.
Apr 22, 2014, 11:50 PM EDT
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- Bruins dominate Red Wings, take 2-1 series lead 48
- And then there were 15: Lightning eliminated 86
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