- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 31, 2002

Seen and heard last night at MCI Center:
MILLER TIME Kelly Miller, whose 940 games with the Capitals from 1987 to 1999 are the team record, is in his first year as an Islanders assistant coach. Miller, 39, began his career behind the bench in 1999-2000 with Grand Rapids of the International Hockey League under another ex-Cap, Guy Charron. When Charron took over in Anaheim in December 2000, Miller followed him. The staff was let go in April, so Miller moved on to the long-downtrodden Islanders.
"This has been a great experience," said Miller, whose brother Kevin once roomed with Islanders coach Peter Laviolette. "I'm really enjoying coaching, but I don't have any long-term plans. If this job hadn't come along, something else would have."
Said Laviolette, "Kelly's a smart guy. Not many NHL players go back and get their master's degrees while they're playing. And Kelly knows the game. He has done a great job."
Miller now helps coach his younger brother Kip, the only one of the three Miller brothers who hasn't played for Washington. Kelly Miller was briefly a candidate for the top job at his alma mater, Michigan State, when legendary coach Ron Mason announced his retirement. However, the Spartans opted to hire longtime Northern Michigan coach Rick Comley.
BEAT THE ODDS Washington was five points out of a playoff spot at the 60-game mark. Only two teams, Anaheim in 1996-97 (coached by current Caps boss Ron Wilson) and Los Angeles last year, rallied from as many as four points out of the playoffs at that juncture during the previous six years and qualified for postseason. In fact according to Stats Inc., of the 96 playoff teams from 1997 to 2001, only seven had been out of a berth at the 60-game mark. The Caps can take heart from the first-round upsets pulled by those 1997 Ducks and 2001 Kings.
David Elfin

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