One-on-one: Captain Kirk thrives at work

Canadiens assistant coach Kirk Muller says he has to control his emotions now that he takes in games from behind the bench rather than from on the ice.

In this week’s One-on-one, The Gazette’s Kevin Mio sat down with Canadiens assistant coach and former team captain Kirk Muller.

Here is a sample of some of the questions Muller answered:

What do you think is harder, playing or coaching in the NHL?

"It’s easier on the body being a coach, but it’s easier on the mind being a player (deep laugh)."

Have you received any advice or inspiration on what it takes to be a successful NHL coach?

"I think it’s more I have just kind of picked up on different positive traits from different guys I have had. Jacques Demers, the great thing about him to me was that he was a really good communicator and his door was always open. He always welcomed input and I think that is sort of what my attitude is as well; to listen to your players and I think that is something I take from a guy like Jacques."








  1. MTL LOVE says:

    Captain Kirk was our 93 hero!!
    On the ice, behind the bench..he is one of a kind :)

  2. fuhgawz says:

    I was one of the guys who once said Ryder should be traded …… i also stated i would eat my words if i was wrong ……consider it done — but lets see how he does next game. still not sold (yet)

  3. Grabs says:

    I just watched NHLNET’s classic series program, tonight they aired the 93 Mtl. – Buff. series that was capped off by Kirk scoring the series ending overtime winner. During the post-game interview, in typical Muller fashion he praised John Leclair for breaking to the net and thus giving Kirk the room he needed to get a good shot off. That guy was a captain in every sense of the word. Seeing him jaw at Julien last night was the highlight of the game.

  4. xeonus says:

    Kirk rocks -period-

    I’ll always remember and respect how he played with such grit, determination and smarts. Everyone talks about how Roy’s OT heroics won ’93 for us, and I’ll never dispute that fact, but among the many unsung heroes on that team, Capt’n Kirk was definitely one of them… leading by example.

  5. TradeRyder says:

    Kirk rocks. Second only to Picard.

    Hope makes a good breakfast, but a bad supper! Trade Ryder!

  6. TradeRyder says:

    I had some respect for Julien too – as a developer of players especially. Always thought he was a little too soft for the NHL… we’ll see how he does long-term with the Bruins.

    I TOTALLY agree with what you say about Theirrien. He reminds me of Rodney Dangerfield. He has too little in the way of finesse to deal in a finesse game. I agree he’ll be out of a job by year’s end.

    Hope makes a good breakfast, but a bad supper! Trade Ryder!

  7. showey47 says:

    yeah julien and therrien have a real hate on for the habs organization in general. I had alot of respect for julien because he has proven that he can coach, but most of that respect left last night. As for therrien , he is the worst coach in the league and will be out of a job soon enough

  8. JasonM says:

    I’m a huge Captain Kirk fan and I’m very pleased to have him as our assistant coach.

  9. TradeRyder says:

    Great to see Kirk hasn’t lost his passion.

    Seems like Claude J has a little frustration burning at him – maybe being back in the building where he was canned. You know he’d LOVE to beat the Habs, but his is the one team that can’t. Must bug ’em.

    Chara… someone should clean his clock. But who?

    Hope makes a good breakfast, but a bad supper! Trade Ryder!

  10. Da Hema says:

    I will never forget seeing Kirk cry when the Habs traded him. The list of talent given away by the Habs in the 1990s still makes me ill: Desjardins, Schneider, Leclair, Muller, Roy. It has taken a long time for this organisation to recover from those dark years.

    I too laughed when Muller wanted to jump over the boards and spank Clod Julien. I always thought Clod was a clown, but last night confirmed it. While I am amazed at Chara’s skills as a player, he is just simply too big and tough to fight. Some people in the previous thread were suggesting the Habs need an enforcer. Didn’t Chara smash Raivin’s (sp?) face into 20 pieces–and he weighed something like 260 pounds when he briefly played for the Habs? If Chara intends to hit players like he did Kovalev, then my suggestion is to “tap” Chara on the wrist or ankle. Although it was interesting to see that Chara can get worked up and take bad penalties. That might be useful in the future.

    “Play every game as if it is your last one.”
    –Guy Lafleur
    “All hockey players are bilingual. They know English and profanity.”
    –Gordie Howe

  11. The Teacher says:

    Ahhhh, I love Kirk ‘Is Work’ Muller. Always have and always will…his goal turned our playoffs around on a pass from Vinny Damphousse in 93.

    On another not, glad to see some spirit in our team again, defending each other even against a 6’9 bully who should be suspended for his actions last night in my opinion.

  12. Thumper says:

    I always remember Kirk Mullers black eye in game 4, 1993 playoffs at the Aud vs Buffalo, he looked like a warrior, played like a warrior and then scored the game winner in OT to send us to the conference final. That was my great memory. My other memory for some bizarre reason is when his helmet flipped around the wrong way in I think game 2 of the finals in 93 and I was shouting at the screen directions of how to get it back on as he struggled to fathom why it was back to front and on his face and had to skate to the bench.

  13. showey47 says:

    The best quote of the article. “I would say probably my favourite Montreal-Toronto memory would be actually not playing them, but them losing out in Game 7 (of the Western final in 1993) so we could listen to them whine about not playing us in the Stanley Cup finals.” I hear it at work all the time, laff fans are such whiners

  14. TommyB says:

    Real good read, Kevin!

    And ummm, I kinda like the way Kirk “didn’t” control his emotions last night during his conversation across benches with Julien!

    Muller was always a favorite, and a player who worked honestly.

  15. J.T. says:

    You took the words out of my mouth, Tommy! One of my favourite parts of the game last night was Muller going at Julien. Priceless. Nice job, Kevin.

  16. WindsorHab-10 says:

    I thought for a moment that Muller was going to jump over the glass and sock Julien a couple. Good thing Carbo held him

  17. Sbah Reverof says:

    Hats off to Captain Kirk, he wears his heart on his sleeve; I enjoyed watching him as a player, I’ve been enjoying his current gig as assistant coach, and as much as I respect Julien, I loved the trash-talk last night. For once, Don Cherry and I are on the same page.

  18. The Ian Cobb says:

    I was blacked out of the game last night. Sounds like I missed some Chara crap and king Kirk heroics.

  19. Rugger says:

    Again, shows how much Carbo has grown as a coach – he was not the one that needed to be restrained!

  20. Lee Hayes says:

    Very good point.

    Go Habs Go

  21. The Ian Cobb says:

    Hi Lee– Hows the weather out in the pacific, still golfing?

    I’ll bet you saw the game out there, I was not so fortunate here. But i followed Mike on here.

  22. Lee Hayes says:

    Sorry you missed it Ian! It was firewagon hockey my man, no two ways about it!
    But even having missed it, at least you can come to a site like this and get some real expert analysis…LOL

    Blackouts Blow!!

    Go Habs Go

  23. Lee Hayes says:

    The rainy season is in full swing…seasonal disorder light here I come!

    Go Habs Go

  24. Lee Hayes says:

    I’m also proud of the organization for atoning for the brutal treatment of Kirk when he was here as our captain. He is, and always was a class individual.
    Last year I was worried more about his lack of communication skills than Carbo’s. I remember early in the season last year when RDS had KIrk mic’d up, And they were still trying to institute the system, (what system? some might say). And poor kirk couldn’t string three words together, I was happy to see last night, through the magic of HD, that Kaptain Kirk had no problem with stringing three very choice words together!
    Our organization is all the stronger with him in the mix. And overall I’m quite satisfied with the coaching staff.
    Still I would like to see an actual former defense men as our defensive coach.

    On a side…How many other NHL benches have the amount of Cups that we have?

    Go Habs Go

  25. stephen says:

    Many thanks, Kevin!

    I always enjoy hearing from Kirk. I think he ranks right up there with the greatest captains this team has had.

    Something tells me he will one day make a terrific head coach. Too bad we will likely lose him when he’s ready. So long as he doesn’t cross over to the dark side (Toronto), I would be happy to see him succeed on his own!

    His goal in the deciding game in ’93 is still a vivid memory, too. Perhaps I was just too young to know any better, but Bob Cole’s call of that game was spine-tingling. He even made Muller’s scrappy goal sound thrilling: “Jamming away…THEY SCORE!”

    Ah, good times…

    As for last night, it was great to see Kirk giving Julien an earful about his embarrassing goon-tactics. Nothing wrong with a little piss and vinegar from the bench from time to time!

  26. earl says:

    Excuse me sir, is that a Leaf t-shirt you’re wearing in your user pic?

    Please change it sir or risk immediate exile :-)

  27. Lee Hayes says:

    It’s a shame that you couldn’t make the summit earlier this season Earl.
    Had you, you’d be in the know concerning these fantastic “toronto maple loser” T-shirts that DD made for some of the HIO faithful.

    Is it OK now?

    Go Habs Go

  28. earl says:

    Consider it fixed.

    I wished I was there at the summit, and if there is another one I’ll be there. Truth be told, it was a few short days after me returning from Hawaii and quite frankly my credit card was smoking.

  29. Naila Jinnah says:

    Agreed on both parts! I cracked up when I read that answer!

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