There hasn’t been a more dominant offense in the last six games than the New York Rangers. And there hasn’t been a more dominant player on said Rangers than Artemi Panarin.
Known best for his playmaking acumen and setting teammates up for scores, a different Panarin has entered the fray for the Blueshirts: and this one might be the best of them all.
New York has won six straight games and recorded points in each of their last eight contests: it’s the longest streak for the Rangers since the 2015-16 season. Add in the fact that this is their second six-game winning streak of the year, something that the team hasn’t had happen since 2005-06 and the Blueshirts are playing their best hockey at the right time.
A big reason for that has been Panarin who, since the acquisition of Vladimir Tarasenko, has dominated both as a playmaker and scorer. Panarin tallied two goals in New York’s 6-4 win over Vancouver Wednesday night: just four nights removed from a four-goal game over Carolina.
“He’s jumping. He’s really jumping right now, making some great plays. When you get six goals is great, but you can’t be giving up four goals.” Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant said after the win.
The six goals scored by Panarin in the last two games tied a franchise record for goals in a two game span. Thanks to the playing style and dominance of the one they call “Bread” the Rangers have, for the first time since 1989 scored six goals in three straight games.
On the season, Panarin has totaled 16 goals for a comfortable 59 points on the season. His 43 assists are ninth in hockey while his points total has him tied for 18th in the league.
It also helps that the team has paired a superstar like Panarin with one of his “best friends”. That camaraderie has proven invaluable throughout the course of the last three games. Even with Tarasenko and Panarin no longer playing on the same line, the balance that comes from all three top lines is such that few teams are able to stop or match their level of offensive firepower.
Wins against playoff contenders like Carolina and Seattle also show the level of play isn’t just coming against bad teams. New York has been able to beat some of hockey’s best cubs over the course of the month, and have cemented themselves as a true title contender.
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