As I said in my previous piece, us Blues fans have plenty of things to be thankful for this holiday season. However that doesn’t mean we can’t be like Ralphie from A Christmas Story and hope there are some special things waiting for us under the tree for Christmas, and none of the things we’re asking for will cause us to shoot our eye out.
- Jordan Kyrou filling the net again. Before I go on, I actually think Kyrou has been much better than people think this season. He isn’t putting up elite goal scoring numbers, but his effort without the puck and on defense is night and day compared to the traffic cone on skates we saw last season. That being said, we’re paying the guy $8 million a year. He’s currently on pace for 18 goals and 50 points, and frankly that isn’t close to good enough production for that contract. It’s especially not a good look that Robert Thomas vouched Kyrou would pot 50 goals and 90+ points this season. For a comparison in our own division Kyle Connor of the Jets is making $7.5 million this season, but he’s on pace for well over 50 goals and around 100 points. I don’t expect Kyrou to perform quite at that level (Connor is likely going to fetch $9-10 million or more when his contract is up), but after netting 37 goals on a horrible Blues team last year we should be seeing more from 25 this year.
- The Wild, Flames, and Oilers continue to be terrible. The Blues have earned the right to be in a playoff spot this year. Excluding the duds we saw against San Jose and LA, dominating Colorado and Tampa in back to back games for a total score of 13-2 was no laughing matter nor a fluke. It shows this team has potential. However, we are a bit unlucky that two of the top 5 teams in the NHL are in our division with Dallas and Colorado. Finishing top 2-3 in our division this season is going to be tough, but thankfully some teams in the Western Conference that were supposed to be contenders are absolute dumpster fires this season. Edmonton is showing no signs of turning things around, the Flames are benching Jonathan Huberdeau while also paying him $10.5 million this season, and the Wild are one Kirill Kaprizov injury away from being the San Jose Sharks. If these teams continue to fail in hilarious fashion, the Blues might find themselves playing in May of 2024 if they keep this up.
- A somewhat competent power play. Only god knows where this team might be if they had a power play that wasn’t a wheelchair with pedals. We don’t skate, we don’t set up one timers like seemingly every other team in the NHL has no problem doing does. Half the time we get a powerplay, it seems to actually generate momentum for the other team. How bad is it some of you who haven’t been watching may ask? Through 18 games this season the Blues have 6 short-handed goals, and just 4 powerplay goals. Yes, we actually are doing better offensively when we have less players on the ice than the other team than when we have more skaters. The Blues are in a playoff spot as of the Thanksgiving holiday, but if that is to continue, we cannot keep putting up a powerplay that is successful just 5-7% of the time.
So if there is a hockey Santa out there in the clouds, please take this as Blues fan’s official submission of a Christmas wishlist.