Coming into the season, the Rangers had four major weapons at their disposal. Arguably, the most potent of those were Russian winger Artemi Panarin. For the breadman, this was a season where his issues were going to need to be sorted beyond game 82 because that is where his issues lie. We are all aware of how strong a regular-season performer Panarin is and the 2022-23 season remains more of the same.
As the team’s top producer with 92 points made up of 29 goals and 63 helpers, Panarin found himself being the playmaker for Mika so much that at times it felt like it was inevitable. Solid production and a good defensive season from one of the Rangers’ best players is a statement of how this team should be looking to go deep this season. If Panarin keeps doing this, they have as good a chance as they ever have.
Despite issues with scoring goals consistently, there were very few games this season where it felt like Panarin was not making an impact in some way. Whether that was positive or negative really seemed to feel like it dictates the direction of the team. When Panarin was playing well, the Rangers seemed to heat up. When he was slumping, it felt like that was when the Rangers started to stutter.
All in all, we cannot judge Artemi Panarin on this season yet. At the end of the day, his judgment will come in the playoffs. It’s not about the regular season for him. New York needs their stars to continue to produce if they are going to go deep this season and Artemi Panarin at his best is undoubtedly the best player on this roster. There are very few times he is at his best and isn’t the best player on the ice.