Dec 20, 2013; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller talks to his players during the third period against the Washington Capitals at PNC Arena. The Capitals won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Hurricanes Know They Are In A Bad Spot And Kirk Muller Demands A Change In Culture

The Carolina Hurricanes had a different practice yesterday. Coach Kirk Muller expressed his distaste with the team’s effort of the past few weeks, and he demands a change out of his team.

After back-to-back losses to the Boston Bruins and Edmonton Oilers, the Carolina Hurricanes are nine points out of a playoff spot in the Metropolitan Division and the Wild Card in the Eastern Conference.

After Monday’s practice at RCI (Raleigh Center Ice), Kirk Muller had a long, loud talk with his team. He said that he is sick of losing, and a change in culture is needed.

“You’re a good group of guys but the culture is going to change. It takes work, it takes togetherness. We have a lot of fans who support you guys and care about you and we’re not quitting. We’re staying together. You better stay together.”

- Kirk Muller

He also said that “losing is for losers” and he is sick of players not playing to the system and “playing their own way”. He challenged his players. He asked them if they were upset with the season. He made it very obvious that he was.

While I love the enthusiasm and anger from Kirk Muller, it is just too late. The Carolina Hurricanes are nine points out of the playoffs with 14 games remaining in their season. According to, the Canes have a .8 percent chance of making the postseason.

At this point in the season, Kirk Muller just needs to salvage the season in some way, even if it means not winning. He needs to find some sort of chemistry with his forwards that will work.

The bottom six can’t be a huge pile of garbage anymore. They have been useless for much of the season. Last year, the Canes first line scored once or twice a game, so it wasn’t as obvious. Jim Rutherford needs to blow up the bottom six and find players that will contribute this offseason.

The Carolina Hurricanes made big changes to their struggling forward unit. Here are the forward lines for Tuesday night’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets:

Jordan StaalEric StaalAlexander Semin

Jeff SkinnerRiley NashElias Lindholm

Nathan GerbeAndrei LoktionovPatrick Dwyer

Drayson BowmanManny MalhotraChris Terry

The Carolina Hurricanes will take on the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight at 7 p.m. in Ohio. Check out our twitter @CardiacCane for in-game updates and plenty of discussion.

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Tags: Carolina Hurricanes Kirk Muller

  • thestormchaser

    Too little too late. Muller is trying to save his job now. I would like to see ALL of the “leaders” of this team change over the summer – Karmanos, Rutherford, Muller AND Eric Staal. They are all too complacent about losing! I am so fed up right now I am not even looking forward to next season, it will just be more of the same unless there is drastic change.

  • CaniacLady

    But, wait, didn’t ALL 3 goals last night come from the THIRD line??? Maybe it’s some of the high-end players who need shaking up.

    • Brett Finger

      They did have a successful night against Columbus. If they can put that kind of scoring together more often, the Canes will be MUCH better!

  • Ron Faler

    I love the “huge pile of garbage” comment. I cannot agree more with the fact that the third line has been dismal to say the least. Aside from Malhotra and occasionally Gerbe, the third and fourth have been awful. Im truly surprised that Riley Nash was kept on the team for so long.

    Im going to continue to suggest that, despite Jordan Staal playing well lately, he has been a giant disappointment to me. Yes, I realize he plays well defensively and he is capable of matching up to the opposition’s top lines, but 6 million for a 35-40 pt player simply isn’t good enough.

    The same goes for Tlusty who has really not played the caliber we all hoped he would.

    I dont blame this year’s issues on Rutherford. Muller applied a very stringent defensive system which worked well for a team which already lacked the size and general skill from the get-go, but I do wonder why this team has shown lag the last few weeks. Last night’s game against Columbus was magnificent, especially the first two periods. The passes were tape to tape and the grit was there, but this wasn’t evident in the most notable games before the break (Montreal) and then after the break (Buffalo, New York, New Jersey, Boston and Edmonton).

    Like you said, its too little too late. That loss against Montreal would have been my first explosive outburst on the team, and I would have continued it especially after the game against Buffalo.

    One thing is for sure, the bottom six need to change and Id put more pressure on Jordan. Unfortunately, trade Wardo, Nash and Tlusty- free up 9 mil with those three and look to reconfigure the bottom six with some added size and speed.

    BTW thank you Brett for your daily write ups. I read them daily and appreciate the dedication and insight!


    • Brett Finger

      Thank you Ron. I appreciate your kind words and support!

      I agree with what you said. The bottom six has been rough for years now. Rutherford has to go out and sign players who can successfully handle the bottom six role. They won’t be successful until they do something, if they ever do!