October 4, 2013; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller looks on against the Detroit Red Wings at PNC Center. The Red Wings won 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Give Kirk Muller More Time

A large population of the Carolina Hurricanes fans are calling for the firing of head coach Kirk Muller – and it makes sense – the team is on a five-game losing streak, failing to score and seem to be playing with no confidence.

Over the summer, I wrote that training camp and the start of the season would be crucial for Muller, who has not had success with the coaching job in Carolina so far and I’m sticking with that belief, but I still think it’s too early to fire the coach.

For one, it’s only been 14 games and a month and a day into the season. Every game matters, but there’s still 68 games and 136 possible points left.

The Philadelphia Flyers fired former Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette three games into the season. Since then, they’ve won four games and sit last in the Metropolitan Division. A coaching change isn’t always likely for things to turn around.

The new coach will have to implement a new system that takes time for the players to get used to. That’s why the majority of coaching changes come in the offseason.

We also saw in the beginning of the season that Muller can have some success. The Canes had five wins in nine games before Anton Khudobin, Cam Ward and Jeff Skinner were all injured. The team was also scoring at a much higher rate.

And it’s not like Muller isn’t trying to get his team out of the funk. He’s changed the lines around, putting arguably his three best forwards together (E. Staal, J. Staal and Semin), demoted Jiri Tlusty during his slump, which he’s still in, and has rewarded other players like Elias Lindholm and Manny Malhotra for their hard work instead of the regular stars like Tuomo Ruutu.

I’m not saying Muller should have his job for the rest of the year, regardless of the Hurricanes’ record, but right now isn’t the time given the point of the season and other factors like injuries.

Tags: Carolina Hurricanes Kirk Muller

  • OMEGA919

    Yeah, I’m of the mindset that, for now, blaming Muller is sort of a cop out. We were playing good (not great, but good) when we had healthy players. But after Ward and Khudobin went down is when we sank into a hole (And I’m not saying Peters is to blame, because he’s played fine outside of Sunday’s game… I think it’s more of a loss of confidence).

    If Ward and/or Khudobin return, as does Skinner, and we’re still playing like this, then it might be time to consider a coaching switch. Until then, I think replacing Muller will be a lateral move at best.

    EDIT: And more to the point of the problem being a loss of confidence and not a coaching one, let’s not forget how great we played against the Rangers for the first 12 minutes. Then they scored and we just lost our heads.

  • thestormchaser

    I am more inclined to go for a blockbuster trade rather than fire the coach at this time. The stars for not performing again, just like last year, so find some guys who will. But I suppose it’s too early for that too. Unfortunately, when the time finally does come to make a drastic move, it is usually too late. On the other hand, Laviolette is available so why not recycle another coach? (Sorry, I couldn’t resist the low blow.) But on a serious note, Jeff Daniels has done a great job with the Checkers for what 3 years? He would have to be on the short list. Maybe the Canes can send Muller down and call up Daniels?