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Wild couple days ends with Muller's first win

December 8, 2011, 12:26 AM ET [ Comments]
Matt Karash
Carolina Hurricanes Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
In 2 games in Western Canada, Canes score 11 goals which somehow is only enough for 1 win. But with the way things have been going, just getting a win offers a sense of relief and pause from the struggles. And Kirk Muller is on the board with win #1 as Carolina Hurricanes and NHL coach.

To me, it feels like the team is still fishing for a brand of hockey that could lead to sustained winning. You can already see more of a pushing, aggressive style of play. Thus far, it has come with some offense, but also some questionable decision-making, but it has boosted the offense. IF the Canes can make adjustments to keep the the aggressiveness dialed up but also tighten up a bit, just maybe this evolves into the team's identity and style of play. Before the season, I expressed concern about Maurice's ability to use the youth and speed in a style of play that suits them. I don't want to declare Kirk Muller a genius after 1 win especially since the net results have not been different. But just maybe he is on to something here. Take a team with some skill and speed and let them skate and play aggressive. A very similar transition ended extremely well for this franchise a few years back.

And as much as the team has struggled of late, a couple wins of any kind can help change the mojo and be built upon.

A few quick comments:

--Jamie McBain. He has a big 3 goals and 3 assists in the past 5 games. Is he hitting stride early? In his limited run with the Canes, he has been a 2nd half player. In his rookie year, he jumped to the NHL level late in the season and played lights out down the stretch. But out of the gate last season, he struggled before playing better the 2nd half of the season. This season he found his way into the press box early in the season and then got off to a so-so start on the ice. Here is hoping that he is finding his second half stride early.

--Derek Joslin. I like the edge he brings. His skillset at this point in his career is that of a 3rd pairing defenseman. In that role, you want a guy with that physical edge and a little bit of nastiness.

--Tomas Kaberle. Per my comments at the beginning, if anyone is going to benefit from a faster pace and more aggressive offense, he (and McBain are the most likely beneficiaries. He has notched 4 points in the past 2 nights.

--The power play. 2 goals tonight. Also a step in the right direction hopefully.

Here's hoping that the Canes can build on Wednesday night's win.

For a quick heads up when I post a blog, please follow me on Twitter at CarolinaMatt63.

Go Canes!
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