Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 12/09/11 at 11:46 AM ET
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
The smile that creases Kirk Muller’s face is there perpetually, it seems, even in these hard, early days as the Carolina Hurricanes’ new head coach. The Hurricanes had lost four in a row under his guidance, after he replaced Paul Maurice behind the bench last week, until they slipped into Edmonton on Wednesday night and escaped with a 5-3 win, his first as an NHL head coach.
For Muller, whose Canes meet the Winnipeg Jets on Friday, retaining his good humour under trying circumstances is a personal strength and also something of a trademark. He is an eternal optimist – and even though there are no physical resemblances whatsoever, his bubbling cauldron of enthusiasm conjures up no less a figure than Bob Johnson, the Hall Of Fame coach, who memorably coined the phrase, “it’s a great day for hockey,” and made it true, even in the darkest of times.
Johnson once made a key distinction about coaching styles that is as true today as it was it in the 1980s – that you can coach by either emphasizing fear or stressing pride. Johnson cited Scotty Bowman, Mike Keenan and others of that ilk as disciples of the former approach – tough-love guys before the concept of tough love became an Oprah staple. Johnson put himself in the latter category, someone who emphasized pride, improvement, and helping the players get better every day.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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