Canes Corner

Muller: We have to believe in ourselves

Posted October 2, 2013
Updated October 3, 2013

The Carolina Hurricanes open their 2013-14 campaign at home Friday against the Detroit Red Wings and head coach Kirk Muller said the team will need to believe in themselves to be successful this season.

"With our team our focus is going to have to be our group," Muller said Wednesday. "To have our identity come out and we have to believe in ourselves. We know there are going to be grinding games going in to places like New York and Philly and Pittsburgh, strong hockey clubs.

"But if we play our game and work on playing well defensively and with our goal tending being strong, we feel that we can walk in and compete with every game. We have the fire power with the elite players up front that can score goals when called upon."

Kirk Muller Muller: It's going to be competitive

That defense became the focus during the offseason as the team added several key players. Such as defenseman Ron Hainsey, who the Canes signed after losing Joni Pitkanen to injury, and defenseman Mike Komisarek who was signed to a one-year contract after time in Toronto. A draft-day trade between Buffalo and the Hurricanes brought in defenseman Andrej Sekera.

Not only did the Hurricanes add veteran experience to the blue line, but several younger players have moved up in rank from the Charlotte Checkers.

"We're really happy with some of the guys that came in this season ready to compete, they met our expectations and maybe a little bit more," said Muller on the additions.

Former Checker Justin Faulk made his defensive presence known last season and former AHL teammates Bret Bellemore and Ryan Murphy hope to do the same this season.

While the Hurricanes boosted their defense they also took the time to sign another goalie to play alongside Cam Ward.

"[Anton] Khudobin as a goalie is going to give us a real good one-two punch back there with Cam, so we're real excited about our goaltending this year," said Muller. "Both are capable of going in and winning hockey games, in a competitive division and conference, actually the whole season.

"It's important that when you look at your goaltending, with back-to-back games, that you're able to have confidence. Right now I have just as much confidence in either one to go in and get the job down and win hockey games."

As with any club, injuries will take their toll and have struck the Hurricanes early. Alexander Semin (wrist) and Elias Lindholm (upper body) both returned to practice Wednesday. Muller said the team will get confirmation Thursday on whether or not they will be able to play. 

"Everything seems positive right now, hopefully these guys will wake up tomorrow and there's no soreness and these guys can continue to progress. And if they do we'll assemble our line-up tomorrow after practice and make sure we have 20 healthy guys ready to go Friday night," said Muller.

Although the injuries kept some off the ice, it did allow others to come in and gain experience in areas they may not have been able to with a healthy roster. It was during this time that Murphy began to emerge as he filled in for Semin on the power play. Muller said that he was really impressive defensively, at such a young age, to come in and take over the 'quarterback' role of the power play.

This season will be the first that the Hurricanes join the new Metropolitan division, facing some steep competition.

"Last year we had a good record against these teams, a lot of people are going 'wow you're heading into a tougher division this season' and it is but really the whole NHL now there's no easy games," Muller said.

Easy game or not, one thing is set heading into Friday night, the first and second lines. Barring any change in status, Semin will join Eric Staal and Jiri Tlusty on the first line. Nathan Gerbe, Jordan Staal and Patrick Dwyer will make up the second.

 

6 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • edits Oct 3, 2013

    JUST EXCITED THAT HOCKEY IS BACK!I THINK THE CANES WILL DO WELL, ESPECIALLY WITH THE ADDITIONS THAT WERE MADE AND THE LINE CHANGES THAT WERE DONE.

  • RaleighPirate Oct 3, 2013

    View quoted thread


    What "off-the-ice" issues are you referring too?

  • hsiflee Oct 2, 2013

    "See the ball, be the ball"...Muller, u r behind the times...Can't blame u though, that movie probably hasn't made it to Germany yet.

  • Cragsdale Oct 2, 2013

    View quoted thread


    pretty sure nothing /crazy/ is going on with this team this year and seeing as they won the last three preseason games and played strong in games 1 and 2, I'm not sure you even have an idea of what the hades you are talking about. And the only injuries are the ones that need to have happened to get rid of Pitkinen.

  • StunGunn Oct 2, 2013

    The Canes do have a history of playing tough teams better than weaker teams, and I sure hope that trend continues because another year with no post season play is not what any fan wants to see. Go Canes!

  • Willie_11 Oct 2, 2013

    I love the Canes so I'm very concerned with how this organization from the top (Karmanos) to the bottom seems to be imploding. Injuries and all of the off-the-ice issues are culminating into a bad feeling and that usually doesn't happen with the team until around the first of the year.

  • Premier League Soccer

    Tomorrow at 12:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Arizona at Houston

    Sunday at 4:00 am on FOX50

  • NFL: San Diego at Minnesota

    Sunday at 1:00 pm on FOX50

  • NFL: Cincinnati at Jacksonville

    Sunday at 8:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC Blitz

    Saturday, Sep. 3 at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Golf Special: Road to the Ryder Cup

    Sunday, Sep. 4 at 2:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Golf: Deutsche Bank Championship

    Sunday, Sep. 4 at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Panthers vs. New England

    Tonight at 7:30 on 99.9 The Fan

  • MLBL Kansas City at Boston

    Tomorrow at 7:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

NFL Preseason
Thursday, Aug. 25
Atlanta6Final
Miami17
 
Dallas17Final
Seattle27
Friday, Aug. 26
New England 4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET23:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST6:30 CT3:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ET22:30
Carolina 
 
Buffalo 4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET23:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST6:30 CT3:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ET22:30
Washington 
 
Pittsburgh 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST7:00 CT4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ET23:00
New Orleans 
 
Cleveland 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST7:00 CT4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ET23:00
Tampa Bay 
 
Green Bay 7:00 PT8:00 MT9:00 CT10:00 ET2:00 GMT10:00 北京时间7:00 MST9:00 EST9:00 CT6:00 UAE (+1)22:00 ET1:00
San Francisco 
Saturday, Aug. 27
Kansas City 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Chicago 
 
Detroit 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET23:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST6:00 CT3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET22:00
Baltimore 
 
Philadelphia 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET23:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST6:00 CT3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET22:00
Indianapolis 
 
NY Giants 4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET23:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST6:30 CT3:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ET22:30
NY Jets 
 
Tennessee 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST7:00 CT4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ET23:00
Oakland 
 
Los Angeles 6:00 PT7:00 MT8:00 CT9:00 ET1:00 GMT9:00 北京时间6:00 MST8:00 EST8:00 CT5:00 UAE (+1)21:00 ET0:00
Denver 
Sunday, Aug. 28
San Diego 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Minnesota 
 
Arizona 1:25 PT2:25 MT3:25 CT4:25 ET20:25 GMT4:25 北京时间1:25 MST3:25 EST3:25 CT0:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ET19:25
Houston 
 
Cincinnati 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST7:00 CT4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ET23:00
Jacksonville 
 
ATP Scoreboard
Friday, Aug. 26
Winston-Salem Open (ATP)
Semifinals
(2) R. Bautista A 
(9) V. Troicki 
(16) P. Carreno Bu 
J. Millman 
 
WTA Scoreboard
Friday, Aug. 26
Connecticut Open (WTA)
Semifinals
(10) E. Svitolina 
J. Larsson 
(1) A. Radwanska 
(6) P. Kvitova