Carolina Hurricanes: Is It Playoffs Or Fired For Kirk Muller In 2013-14?

By Jonathan Katje
Kirk Muller
Brace Hemmelgarn – USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Hurricanes battled many injuries to top players during the 2013 season, which severely hurt their chances of making the playoffs. As the team now turns its focus to next season, it’s easy to wonder how safe head coach Kirk Muller‘s job is if the Hurricanes get off to a rough start. Muller has been with the team for two seasons, and has yet to reach the playoffs. The Hurricanes have the talent in place to be a postseason contender every season, and Muller’s days may be numbered if the Hurricanes see their season end in April for a fifth consecutive season.

Muller has managed only a 25-20-12 record last season, and a 19-25-4 record this season. He doesn’t deserve complete blame for the disaster that was the 2013 season, but he has a lot of work to do in the offseason to help his team bounce back. Scoring wasn’t a problem for the Hurricanes, but their efforts at their own end of the ice and on special teams were quite lacking. The Hurricanes had the second-worst mark in the league in goals against, and the power play (27th) and penalty kill (28th) ranked among the league’s worst as well.

With Eric Staal, Jordan Staal, Alexander Semin and Jeff Skinner up front, scoring goals won’t be a problem for this team anytime soon. Add in the fact that Jiri Tlusty is looking like a breakout star, and Muller seems to have an easy road in front of him. He likely got a free pass this season due to the catastrophic loss of goaltender Cam Ward to injury, but one has to wonder how long he will be given the chance to turn things around before his superiors lose patience.

Jonathan Katje is an NHL senior writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter or add him to your circles on Google Plus.

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