To put my own spin on the classic attendance scene from the 1986 movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off “Mueller? Mueller? Mueller?” Just like Ferris failed to answer the call, Peter Mueller has failed to answer the call in Phoenix so far this season.
For the most part of this season Peter Mueller has been absent on the score sheet for the Phoenix Coyotes. The twenty-one year old is in his third year with the Coyotes, the team that drafted him eighth overall at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.
Peter Mueller had an amazing rookie season for the Coyotes in 2007-08. He finished the season with 22 goals, 32 assists, for 54 points. He was tied for third in rookie scoring with Chicago's Jonathan Toews. He was the first Coyote rookie to score twenty or more goals since the 1992-93 season when Teemu Selanne score a rookie record 76 goals.
Mueller has been in a huge decline offensively since his rookie season. Entering his second season there were high hopes for the Minnesotan native to improve on his excellent rookie season totals. Instead of improving, Mueller struggled offensively and ended up with only 13 goals and 36 points.
Any thoughts that Mueller was just an unfortunate victim of the sophomore slump were put to bed early on in the 2009-10 season. Through the first 14 games of the season, Mueller has only one goal and two assists. He just got his first goal in a win against the Chicago Blackhawks last Thursday. It wasn't a fancy goal but at least it was a goal.
Maybe scoring his first goal of the season is all Mueller needs to start helping the Coyotes offense. Just look at the New York Rangers' Chris Higgins, who only recently scored his first goal of the season. Higgins scored another goal in his next game and seems to be finally ready to contribute on more regular basis for the Rangers.
If Mueller can not start picking up his game, the minors may be an option for him. There are many players down in San Antonio like Kevin Porter and Kyle Turris who are itching to get a shot with the big club. The worst thing for Mueller may be the fact that his slow start hurts his already small chance of making the 2010 U.S Olympic Team.
Hopefully the next time Mueller's name is called, he answers by putting pucks in the net and points on the board.