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Behind the Bench -- Coach Talk

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I realize that RF has not been the GM for very long, but you would think that unloading Capt Kirk would be at the top of the Canes to-do list.

 

I've read the arguments that he has a year left and should be allowed to finish out his contract blah blah. Personally, I disagree with that. Kirk had a lot of talent available to him and his system did not work. The club appears to be heading for more upheaval this summer. We might as well swap out the coach too. Muller's a nice guy that the players like. However, that does not equate to winning.

 

After watching round 1 of the playoffs it's obvious to see how far off this team is under Muller. We are soft, lazy and have no PP. That has to change now and not after Kirk's had another losing season. I'm all for a total blow up of the team with RF and a new coach starting fresh. I'm doubtful that Muller can turn things around even with the possible addition of a big name free agent.

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looks as if Torts was just fired by the Canucks.  the guy must be getting rich on severance pay.   fired by the Bolts, the Rags, and now the Canucks

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PK likely has little to no interest in paying even more people to not work here.

 

That.

 

I don't think Muller is on top of Ronnie's priority list right now because he still needs to figure out what he wants to do with our pending UFAs and RFAs. If Muller is still around for the draft, I got a feeling he will start off the season behind the Cane's bench.

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Apparently, season ticket sales are down considerably. My sense is most fans (including me) want a coaching change. Don't know what Muller makes, but how many season tix, individual game tix, parking revenue and concessions revenue does it take to pay that salary? There were so many obvious problems with the team last year including all of the slow starts, almost every highly paid player underperforming their contracts, and of course the power play which sucked all year and looked the same the last 2 weeks of the season as the first 2 weeks. A quick move here by Ronnie would at least give the fans hope real change is coming.

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I agree BD. I really think Francis has to make at least one big move, especially since some will see his promotion to GM as rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. (I don't, but some do).

 

That move will need to be moving a big name forward (moving Ward will not be enough change), or the coach. 

 

I just don't see which big name player he can likely move.

 

Skinner? Yes he'd have takers, but you have to get return and good luck with that. Plus, does the new GM really want to start by moving our only 30 goal scorer, who still has off the charts upside? No. 

 

E.? Maybe. But E. is coming off a very bad year for him (low relative value), and his brother is still here, and he has a NTC. 

 

J? Wanted to come here with E. Not putting up enough numbers to justify the $$$. Probably not get value, and NTC.

 

Semin? Maybe, but he was playing injured and still put up some numbers. And we need scoring and he is worth the price and while he had a down stretch, if he is healthy he is underated. Again, will not likely get value for him. 

 

Ruutu? Oh wait.....

 

Linholm. Yeah right.

 

Ward. Will be tough with that contract, and a bunch of goalies out there. But the way he has played the last couple of years, moving Ward has become an expected move that is really shockingly not a huge move anymore. 

 

That leaves the coach. 

 

 

Now they might try a collection of smaller moves: bring in new assistant coaches, trade Ward, maybe sign a FA. 

 

To me it will depend on two things;

 

What is the real deal with Eric. Was he playing injured? Did he like playing for Muller? 

How much will PK/JR really let Francis make his own moves.

Edited by remkin

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I think the decision on Muller's future is the key to the entire off-season. Unless we are willing to commit to Muller in a longer term there is no reason to keep him for the sake of letting him finish his contract. Its my belief if Muller stays some players must move and trades or FA signings will be based on if Muller is coach.

 

Replacing Muller will get our attention but won't energize a fan base. It will take a player move or signing to do that. The decision needs to be based on if Francis thinks Muller is the man for the job in the future. The decision needs to be made very soon or as they say in my neck of the woods, time to fish or cut bait.

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. . . We are soft, lazy and have no PP . . .

 

Our PP absolutely sucked for most of the year.  Over the last couple of weeks of the season, however, I'm pretty sure someone pointed out that we were converting at one of the higher percentages in the league.  Which begs the question: did the team finally turn it around (we did add Loktianov and Muller changed the lineups) or was that just an anomaly?  I'm not pretending to know the answer to that . . .

 

The interpretation of "soft" is a very subjective thing.  And the overall effectiveness of "toughness"/ pure physicality vs. skill is debatable as well (contrast the Sabres, one of the most physical teams in the league, vs. the Blackhawks).  Here's a link to a post looking at puck control vs. "toughness":  http://fans.hurricanes.nhl.com/community/topic/21438-2013-14-in-season-canes-news-updates-and-talk/page-418#entry397528.  A good example of myth vs. reality might be Gleason in Toronto.  I was looking at their forum a while back and the vast majority of the posters were extolling how Gleason was one of their best D-men because of his physical style of play.  Only one person pointed out that his +/-  was terrible and that the Leafs goals against average was actually noticeably up since Gleason joined the team.  To the vast majority of Leafs fans, style was more important than results.   I don't think there's anyone here who would argue that the Canes need to be more physical in certain areas (starting in front of the net imo).  Like I said, interpretation is subjective, but to me, "soft" seems to be driven by that preconception that a team needs to be especially "tough" in order to win.  I'd personally leave it at "we need to be more physical in certain areas" rather than use the pejorative "soft".  But that's just me, I know many others feel differently.

 

What I will argue strongly against is that this years team was lazy.  The team played hard for the vast majority of the year, even when they were down deep into games or out of the playoffs (look at the end of our season when we were out of it and beat several teams that were fighting for a playoff spot).  Of course there were a couple of exceptions, but no team is able to play at a 100% energy level over an entire 82 game season. Although the Canes clearly weren't always effective this year, they did play hard for the most part, and for that, deserve better than to be called "lazy".

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After watching Muller over the last couple of years, it's become painfully obvious (to me) that he seems to be way over his head as a head coach in the NHL.  Yes, there is a learning curve, and certainly we recognized that when he was hired, but I'm not at all confident in his going forward.

 

The only vote of confidence I have heard from the Canes was PK's comments about the nice dinner they had in New York, and something about not being blamed for all the injuries that occurred, which according to Karmanos, was the team's downfall this season.

 

My personal belief is that he will be replaced prior to the draft, because he seems to be just a lame duck if he stays.

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I think that more important than running someone into the boards, is being tough ON the boards and in front of the net. You want puck possession? It starts on the boards. You want goals? They happen in front of the net. Scrappy. Tenacious. 

 

On the PP, Muller finally broke with the idea that Eric Staal had to be on the first unit. He put quicker better passing guys on that first unit and boom! NHL power play. 

 

On removing Muller and the fan base. Well replacing the GM and the entire coaching staff should interest at least a few fans, as a signal that losing will not be tolerated.

 

Lazy? Maybe not, but tenacious, scrappy, never say die? Not so much. This team underperformed on a massive scale. The GM put together the team that on paper should have been much better. How does this not fall on the coach? How do you bring back that coach and the same players and say this time it will work? 

 

Muller may well develop into a good coach. But something is broken here and just bumping JR upstairs is not enough to fix it.

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After watching round 1 of the playoffs it's obvious to see how far off this team is under Muller. We are soft, lazy and have no PP. That has to change now and not after Kirk's had another losing season. 

 

I'm not at all convinced that bringing in another coach is going to fix "soft, lazy and the PP". You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. 

 

But, WHEN they do hire a new coach, I hope they bring in a guy who isn't afraid to call a guy out, and sit him down if he refuses to play like he's instructed! 

 

I think Muller is too soft and easy going. I also think he's bitten off more than he can chew as an NHL head coach. 

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Lake, I can answer only one of your questions. If our PP improved the last 2 weeks of the season, it WAS an anomaly. This franchilse has a history (recently) of performing well the last 5 games when they are out of contention.

 

And Kahuna, after you lead that horse to water, if he does not drink, you can kick his a**. Muller needs to go. Nice guy. Agree that he is over his head.

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I agree with you  Kahuna,  first time maybe, just kidding..... get players  that go to the net, and screen the goalie, Ronnie did that during his HOF  career...... Im beating a   dead horse, with the cycling along the boards, so i wont go there.. :)   Muller doesnt seem tough enough, if i want a nice guy.... let it be the guy next to me watching the game, not the guy behind the bench.. JMO

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When was the last time the Canes were bag skated till they puked? "Again"!!!! 

 

I think it was Maurice. 

 

Yeah, that's the ticket! Wait, let's just zap 'em with electrodes; that seems like it would be more efficient.

Edited by LakeLivin

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We have not had a legit coach since Lavi. That guy used strategy from intentionally telling players to check a goalie to get into his head to shooting low blocker side on Broduer for 2 consecutive periods and then light him up in the 3rd glove side. To this day Border still had bad memories when playing in Carolina.

We have not had a coach like that in a while. How can anyone here be for keeping Muller? Did you watch the team this season? We sucked. Our play was 5 grades below any team in the playoffs right now. We need a legit coach and Trots is available. Fire Muller and fire Daniels.

Edited by bluedevil58

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Lavi is available !    With JR at least partially out of the picture now ( NO, I don't believe what I just said ... top 3 management guys ARE STILL the SAME top 3 management guys )  Lavi 2.0 sounds good to me.    That would at least get me thinking about renewing 2 of my 4 lower level season tickets.  But only thinking.    Ward and E. Staal gotta go too before I commit any more $$$ to this pit.

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So far we haven't found that mythical player to help Eric and his scoring. And now we are also looking for a mythical coach to help Eric. Maybe an attitude adjustment is needed.

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So far we haven't found that mythical player to help Eric and his scoring. And now we are also looking for a mythical coach to help Eric. Maybe an attitude adjustment is needed.

And the stripping of the "C" off his uniform

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I heard one of the experts on the hockey station on XM yesterday. Referring to last year's Hurricanes he said, "That was just a very badly coached team."

Edited by remkin

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I'm not saying we should or should not fire Kirk.
But lets face it, he is UNPROVEN as a winning NHL coach.
and now we also have an unproven GM... this is hardly a combo that 
instills confidence!

As I mentioned in a thread that has a lock on it now, for comparison,
the Caps fired Adam Oates and with a similar timeline his performance 
was significantly better than Kirk's (stats below for your convenience).
 
ADAM OATES
65-48-17 .565 with 1 playoff appearance in 2 years and 1.13 PTS / game
KIRK MULLER
80-80-27 .500 with 0 playoff appearances in 3 years and 1.0 PTS / game
 
 
Upshot? Adams appears to be a better coach than Kirk and WAS will likely get someone better than Kirk to replace Oates... so in the spirit of this tread, the question "Muller not fired yet" certainly appears to be a fair one!
 
Edited by Greg-N-Ral

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Another provocative post from Greg 'N Ral. *Yawn.*

 

Muller is going nowhere, at least not if Ronnie is as smart a GM as he was a player. Muller was brought in from an AHL team after working only 17 (I think?) games there with great success. He is from JR's (and Ronnie's) home province and played in the league at the same time as Ronnie and Roddy, neither of whom is going anywhere. I believe his selection was a clear signal to players and fans that this team is rebuilding around its youth. Though he is just 48, Muller has long experience working with youth as an assistant at MTL and at the college level.

 

The reason the Canes' won the Cup in 2006 - that ANY team does - was the existence of an ORGANIZATIONAL drive to get there. I know the term "buy-in" is tossed around a lot. That's because it has validity. Pretty much from the moment Manny joined this team, we all saw a change in attitude which, coupled with Muller's constant accentuating of the positive in press scrums (which, I realize, drove many fans crazy!) led, during the second half of the season, to the Canes having among the best PPs and PKs in the league.

 

Blowing things up almost never works, and in hindsight, I think JR, seeing that the problems with this team during the past five years were primarily motivational, has worked hard to bring in promising young players who have been winners at previous levels. The last piece of that puzzle was bringing in a coach skilled in working with such players, and also a winner himself. Muller won a Cup as player in MTL and has coached young players at the college, AHL and NHL levels.

 

So, I believe Muller starts the season and that he AND Eric Staal will be on short leashes. If Eric comes out gangbusters and the team essentially picks up where it left off last season, Muller will complete his contract. If Eric has another "slow start" but the rest of the team picks up where it left off, Eric will likely be dealt. If we are not at .500 after 20 games, Muller is probably toast. But my sense is that he has such buy-in from Skinner, Lindy, Nash, Bowman, Faulk, the rest of the D-corps and even Jordan that only a 5-15 start should get him fired. His system is starting to work; quitting on it now would only put us back to square one. 

 

One more thing, regarding Muller's positivity in the face of bad losses.

 

I heard an interview with Darryl Sutter before the playoffs started where he was asked about his muted reactions in the press when his team isn't producing. He said something I think most successful coaches will acknowledge: The time to kick your team (as a coach) is NOT when it is down. Sutter has mastered finding the positive in losing efforts, as the Kings' fourth-in-NHL-history comeback from a 0-3 series deficit in the first round attests. If you re-watch the interviews from mid-season which (admittedly) drove many of us crazy this year - you know, where Muller was talking about "Playing the right way" and "Putting the puck in the right places" - I think it becomes pretty obvious that he while he is speaking to the press, he is TALKING to his players. He is supporting them. He is conveying his faith that they will see results if they keep doing the right things. And I think the second half of the season is testament that it works. Good coaches know that knocking your players when they are struggling is the quickest way to lose them. The time to push harder is when things are going well, because that's when your biggest enemy - complacency - can rush in.

 

All of which speaks volumes about why John Tortorella's teams, the more mouthy he has gotten over the years, have had progressively dwindling results - and why Sutter's (and Quenville's, and Julien's) have won Cups.

Edited by top-shelf-1

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