When we talk about the most important players for the New York Rangers, somewhere near the top of this list will be winger Artemi Panarin. As one of the best players in the league, Panarin did not have the postseason that most people expected from him when he was at his sparkling best. Silent after the first game, the star Russian will need to prove that he can be that guy for the Blueshirts in the postseason.
With growing discontent regarding the former Blackhawk and Blue Jacket from the Blueshirts fanbase, Panarin is under some severe pressure. For the fans who appreciate the Russian winger and his skill set, he was still reticent in the playoffs. For someone the Rangers depend on so much to provide offense and score goals, going silent is not an option, and the criticism he received for his lackluster performance could be a big motivator.
To say that a player who collected 92 points last season had his season end on a low is not good. We are all aware of the fact that Panarin is a streaky player. When he gets hot, he will score very quickly and score a lot. He is almost the only player in the world who can be a team’s best or worst player. The bread is either stale or one of the most delicious meals served on ice.
Panarin’s 92-point season last year came in the form of 29 goals and 63 assists. That was good enough to lead the Rangers in terms of production. We must acknowledge that he is the best forward on the roster right now, certainly in terms of the highest ceiling. He’s the most dominant player on the ice while playing well. Trying to get him to be at his best is the difficult part for Peter Laviolette.