Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz has had a good viewpoint from which to judge the progress made this season by Carolina Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller.
For one, Muller started the season as the coach of the Predators' top farm team. But also because the Predators have played the Hurricanes twice at key times since Muller took over for the fired Paul Maurice.
The first was on Jan. 7, about five weeks into Muller's tenure, and the Preds came away with a 5-2 win at home in which the 'Canes yielded power-play goals on four of five chances. The second was a 4-3 loss at RBC Center on Feb. 28.
Trotz said that Muller has the 'Canes "playing with a lot of pace and a lot of conviction.'' Trotz, whose team entered Thursday's games with the sixth-most points in the NHL, noticed how Muller applied Nashville's pressure system to Carolina, minus a few tweaks here or there.
"Yeah, when they were doing it better than us, it was making me angry,'' Trotz said. "It was making me really angry -- ...