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2022 New York Rangers Offseason Artemi Panarin Rangers

Chris Drury was reportedly unhappy with Artemi Panarin’s play in the playoffs

According to Arthur Staple in The Athletic, Chris Drury was “vocally unhappy” with Artemi Panarin’s play in the playoffs.

Panarin had 6 goals and 10 in 20 games for the Rangers with a minus-five rating, 50 shots on goal 16 takeaways and 43 giveaways.


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Seven (3 goals and 4 assists) of his 16 points came at even strength with the rest coming on the PP.

His per game totals break down as:

  • Game 1 Pittsburgh: 0 goals, 0 assists and 2 shots in 31:53.
  • Game 2 Pittsburgh: 1 goal, 2 assists and 2 shots on goal in 19:04.
  • Game 3 Pittsburgh: 1 goal, minus one rating, five shots on goal in 21:40.
  • Game 4 Pittsburgh: 1 assist, 0 shots on goal in 18:25.
  • Game 5 Pittsburgh: 1 assist, plus two rating, 5 shots on goal in 23:08.
  • Game 6 Pittsburgh: 0 goals, 0 assists, minus one rating, 3 shots on goal in 19:52.
  • Game 7 Pittsburgh: 1 goal (OT series winner), plus one rating, 5 shots in 23:51.
  • Game 1 Carolina: 0 goals, 0 assists, minus one rating, 2 shots on goal in 18:01.
  • Game 2 Carolina: 0 goals, 0 assists, minus two rating, 0 shots on goal in 20:48.
  • Game 3 Carolina: 1 assist, 2 shots in 15:24
  • Game 4 Carolina: 0 goals, 0 assists, 3 shots in 17:07.
  • Game 5 Carolina: 1 assist, 0 shots in 22:12
  • Game 6 Carolina: 1 goal, minus two rating, 2 shots in 17:27.
  • Game 7 Carolina: 1 assist, plus one, 2 shots in 15:00
  • Game 1 Tampa: 1 goal, 1 assist, 3 shots in 19:57.
  • Game 2 Tampa: 0 goals, 0 assists, 5 shots in 20:56
  • Game 3 Tampa: 2 assists, 2 shots in 18:55
  • Game 4 Tampa: 1 goal, minus two rating, 1 shots in 21:24
  • Game 5 Tampa: 0 goals, 0 assists, minus one rating, 3 shots in 19:22
  • Game 6 Tampa: 0 goals, 0 assists, minus one rating, 3 shots in 21:52

Adam Rotter: I don’t think Drury was the only one disappointed with Panarin’s play in the playoffs. He was producing in the regular season, but he just didn’t look the player we expected him to be. Then in February he returned to being the Hart Trophy finalist he was in 2019-20. The hope was that he would continue on that track when the playoffs started.

The question that is hard to answer is whether Panarin struggled in the playoffs because he was still dealing with the upper body injury he suffered at the end of the regular season, that kept him out the final two games of the season, or if it was his style of play and how he was defended. Whether he was still dealing with that upper body injury or not, we do know that both Andrew Copp and Ryan Strome, especially Strome, were playing hurt in the playoffs and that couldn’t have been a big help. He sort of became a PP specialist for the Rangers in the playoffs and while that was big and helped them win, they needed him to be that dynamic player at 5-on-5.

When you have great players you expect them to be great and when they don’t meet those expectations it’s incredibly frustrating. Mika Zibanejad went from being a huge disappointment through the first 5 1/2 games against Pittsburgh to being arguably their best and most consistent player, outside of Igor Shesterkin, through the rest of the playoffs. We all kept waiting for Panarin to break out and follow that path and it just didn’t happen. You watched Nikita Kucherov make these plays and kept waiting for Panarin to do the same. He’s certainly not going anywhere and I’m sure some of these things were part of his exit interview with Chris Drury. At this point all you can do is hope that he takes what happened in the playoffs this year, learns from it and/or is motivated so that when he’s in this situation next season, he’s better and more consistent.