Artemy Panarin has long established himself as an ultra-high-level player and a super-scorer who scores huge amounts of points. Although I have not yet reached the symbolic hundred for the season. But in the new National Hockey League, the Russian star of the New York Rangers surprises even those who are accustomed to the miracles of the Korkino native.
Having somewhat changed his appearance and approach to hockey, Panarin started right off the bat and began destroying his opponents one by one. 15 matches in a row – that’s exactly how long his scoring streak lasted from the very first game of the championship. During this period, Artemy managed to break two records at once – club and all-Russian – and also scored 26 points, scored 10 goals and made 16 assists. A serious bid for the coveted 100 points per season and the fight for the Art Ross Trophy, yes.
But as soon as the Russian set a new scoring record from the start of the season, he was overcome by a drought for some time. Panarin failed to score in three games in a row – against the Dallas Stars, Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers, respectively. Hardly anyone saw this as a serious problem. Firstly, the Rangers won two victories in these three matches, and secondly, each series is followed by a new one. After a successful one – a blank, after a blank – again a productive one. The only question was when the Russian would break the silence and start collecting a new portion of points.
This happened in a match against the leader of the current NHL competition – the Boston Bruins. The Rangers, off to a strong start this season, rushed after the Bears, who had seized power in the East. Before their head-to-head meeting in New York, the difference in points was only two points. That is one victory. And the Blue Shirts won it.
“Boston” did not close down and stifle the attack of Peter Laviolette’s team, but agreed to exchange attacks. The outcome for the Bruins was controversial. On the one hand, Jim Montgomery's gang scored four goals and got close to the leading group of the most productive teams of the season, on the other hand, they were defeated, conceding seven times.
Already in the first period, the opponents staged a great shootout and by the 19th minute they scored five goals between them! The Rangers shot at last NHL season's best goaltender Linus Ullmark twice in the first ten minutes, but Boston quickly responded and restored the status quo. Just before the break, Chris Kreider scored a double and again brought the Blue Shirts ahead. In the second 20 minutes, the opponents continued the fun, including Bruins star David Pastrnak taking the floor. This moment was fundamental: either the guests from Boston would seize the initiative and crush the Rangers due to their character and power, or the hosts of Madison Square Garden would find the strength to continue their victorious march.
Found. And what’s most important is that Artemy Panarin had a hand in this. The Rangers made a great play on a delayed penalty in the second half of the second period, and Panarin, with his signature cross pass, deceived the Bears' defense and participated in Jimmy Vesey's goal. Then the Rangers only increased their advantage, and Boston missed the opportunity to get back into the game.
The key was the fact that the Blueshirts continued to actively put pressure on the opponent’s goal. 17 – so many shots on target for Boston in the final 20 minutes!
Artemiy Panarin also regularly shot at goal. Cameramen at the legendary arena in New York kept taking close-ups of the Russian forward’s face and showing the full range of his emotions, which showed that Khlebushek really wanted to score. And he achieved what he wanted.
In the middle of the period, Braden Schneider still found Panarin in the left throw-in circle with his pass. Although Artemy had to adapt a little to this transmission, the Russian, thanks to his not very large dimensions, still grouped himself and “finished off” Ullmark.
It seemed that that was all. But the NHL statistics department had a different opinion. A few hours after the end of the match, they reviewed the Rangers' goals and came to the conclusion that Panarin also participated in the episode with the Blueshirts' second goal of the match, when Chris Kreider scored his first goal.
Initially, his assistants included Erik Gustafsson and Vincent Trocheck. But the episode was reviewed and Trocheck’s pass was rewritten to Panarin. Thus, Artemy scored three points!
Panarin now has 29 points in 19 matches: 11 goals and 18 assists. It is interesting that for the Russian this match was also the 11th of the season in which he scored two or more effective actions. No one in the entire league has that much! Even Nikita Kucherov, who played a truly legendary match in North Carolina last night.