The St. Louis Blues are in need of a boost to their offense as injury and tightness has taken their toll. One of the team’s future stars has to figure out his own game though.
Is the title of this article a bit over the top and unfair? Yes, it is. However, the St. Louis Blues do not have time to pussyfoot around while players figure things out.
So, the time is now for Jordan Kyrou to figure out the differences in his own game so he can help the Blues sooner than later. Easier said than done, unfortunately.
The problem is there is almost a night and day nature to Kyrou’s game. At the NHL level Kyrou has stalled, but he flourishes in the AHL.
Kyrou has one goal, two assists and three points in 16 NHL games with the Blues. With the San Antonio Rampage, he has a team-high 16 goals and also has 43 points in 44 games.
Some of that can be chalked up to playing time. Kyrou is playing top line minutes most nights in the AHL.
In the NHL, he has averaged just over nine minutes per game. For comparison, Sammy Blais averages 9:51 and Mackenzie MacEachern averages just over eight minutes. Nobody else on the Blues roster averages in the single digits for minutes.
So, it is hard to produce when you are not on the ice for long periods at a time. However, he has not earned playing time.
The comparison usually circles back to Robert Thomas, but there is a difference. Thomas made mistakes, but they were usually learning curve mistakes.
Kyrou’s mistakes are often things that you know you should not do at any level, such as turnovers at your defensive blue line, or things he does not do at the AHL level but does in the NHL.
You see a flash here or there, but you can tell he is trying too hard. Coaches can often tell that too, which is why Kyrou has not gained more time.
St. Louis seems interested in keeping him on the NHL roster come playoff time. They are burning through his non-emergency recalls like wildfire, with little reason behind it. St. Louis literally demoted him during the Ottawa game only to recall him the next morning and he may never have left. Tom Timmermann’s article seemed to indicate he flew with the Blues to Pittsburgh and might have never left Ottawa.
The Blues must want him down the stretch, but he needs to show he can hack it in the NHL. Kyrou has to figure out what the difference is between the two leagues for him. He has the talent to play in the NHL, but maybe he does not have the will.
Some guys like to dominate lesser competition, whether they know it themselves or not. Some guys can’t rise to the level of the best because those guys work that much harder and it never clicks. I do not believe Kyrou is that guy, but the Blues do not have time to wait this season.
Next year and in future years, Kyrou has more time to dip his toes in the water and wade in. If he is going to contribute right now, he has to jump into the deep end and swim right away.
It will not be easy. But as has been said so many times, if it was easy, everyone would do it.