Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Check out Blues' Top Point Man Miller Doesn't Get Defensive on Offense

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Check out Blues' Top Point Man Miller Doesn't Get Defensive on Offense

Article excerpt

Tom Tilley put a new spin on the stereotype of old friend Kevin Miller, his former teammate at Michigan State University and current teammate on the Blues.

"They say, `He's a checker who can score,' " Tilley said. "Well, how about, `a scorer who can check?' "

Well, how about it? It fits, at least at this juncture of the season.

After three games, it's Miller - not Brett Hull, Brendan Shanahan or any of the Blues' glamour guys - at the top of the team's scoring list. Miller, 28, has eight points, on four goals and four assists.

Those eight points represent 17 percent of his total in 82 games last season, when he matched his career high with 46 points. At this rate, Miller would score 224 points in 84 games.

Last season, Miller didn't score his eighth point until his 18th game. He didn't score his fourth goal until his 21st game. So, he's well ahead of his pace of a year ago.

"I'd say so," he said, laughing. "I'm ahead of my pace for all of October."

And most of November, too. It wasn't until after the Blues acquired him for Paul Cavallini on Nov. 1 that Miller began putting points on the board.

He had only three points - all assists - in October, when the Washington Capitals buried him on the fourth line in games he wasn't watching from the press box. Miller still is bitter about his Capitals punishment. He felt he was made the scapegoat for their bad start.

"They can't blame it on me this year, can they?" he asked rhetorically, referring to the Caps' 0-5 start.

But give Miller full marks for the Blues' 3-0 start. He had three assists in the season-opening 5-3 victory over Florida, two goals and an assist in a 7-5 triumph over Ottawa and two goals in a 5-2 win in Detroit.

"It's nice any time you get points," Miller said.

Especially in Detroit, which is a two-hour drive from Miller's hometown of Lansing, Mich. Miller's parents, Lyle and Marie, led a brigade of 16 who watched Miller perform.

"It means a lot to score in Detroit, especially after I buy that many tickets," Miller said. "I have a lot of friends and family in the area. It's nice to score a couple of goals there."

Not to mention collecting some home-baked goodies. …

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