Rangers Recall: The Quick and the Bread

NHL: New York Rangers at Boston Bruins
Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Jonathan Quick and Artemi Panarin put on a show in Boston to lead the New York Rangers to a 5-2 victory over the Bruins on Thursday night. In the process, both players achieved milestones with Quick tying Ryan Miller at 391 wins for 15th all-time in League history and most by a U.S. born goalie. Meanwhile, Panarin hit the 40-goal mark for the first time, and then set a career-high 97 points with his hat-trick tally into an empty net to seal the deal.

All this occurred on a special night for their head coach, as Peter Laviolette reached 1,500 games behind an NHL bench, and is now just two wins away from 800 in his illustrious career.

“Quickie was on point,” Laviolette praised. “He made some brilliant saves in that first period.”

Related: Rangers not fixated on Presidents’ Trophy

Rangers Recall: Jonathan Quick and Artemi Panarin

NHL: New York Rangers at Boston Bruins
Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Jonathan Quick

What a comeback story for the 38-year-old goalie, who many wondered if he shouldn’t retire after seeing his game decline over the last few years.

Instead, Quick signed a one-year show me deal in July to play with his childhood favorite team and has posted an amazing season leading to a one-year extension. Now, the kid who grew up idolizing 1994 Cup-winning Rangers’ goalie Mike Richter is one win away from being the top U.S. born goalie in NHL history.

“I’ve played with a lot of good players over the years,” Quick noted after stopping 24 Boston shots. “It takes a lot to win one game. You need coaching, four lines, and six defensemen. I’m grateful for the work they’ve put in for me to achieve that.”

On the year, Quick is sporting a record of 16-5-2 with two shutouts, a stellar .916 save percentage, and a rock-solid 2.44 goals against average. A far cry from last season’s 3.41 GAA and .882 save percentage split with the Kings and Golden Knights (with a pitstop in Columbus).

Artemi Panarin

When it comes to the Hart Trophy for League MVP, Artemi Panarin is going to be overlooked in favor of more flashy options like Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews, and Nathan MacKinnon. Currently, Panarin is tied for fifth with four other players per Vegas Insider’s betting odds for the award.

It’s a shame, because all three of those players have other big offensive stars to support them. In Edmonton, McDavid (112 points) has Leon Draisaitl (90 points). Over in Toronto, Matthews (57 goals, 89 points) who is the betting favorite for MVP, isn’t even their leading scorer thanks to William Nylander’s (91 points) amazing campaign. The same is true for MacKinnon (117 points), who has Mikko Rantanen (93 points) and defenseman Cale Makar (75 points) to ease the burden in Colorado.

Panarin, 32, has 97 points (41 goals, 56 assists) in 70 games to pace all Blueshirts’ scorers by a landslide. The next closest Ranger is Vincent Trocheck with 66 points, a margin of 31 points.

“Sometimes the more he plays, the better he gets,” Laviolette said of Panarin after beating the Bruins. “In games like this, he steps up.”

At this pace, Panarin is potentially looking at 113 point season, which would be the first in Rangers history since Jaromir Jagr did it in the 2005-06 campaign. If he can score at least 110 points, it would beat Jean Ratelle’s second place mark of 109 done in 1971-72.

The Hart Trophy is not supposed to go to the league’s top offensive star. That’s what the Art Ross Trophy is for. No, by definition it is awarded to the player “most valuable to his team.”

I’m not sure there is a player more deserving than ‘The Breadman.’

Jaromir Jagr2005-06123
Jean Ratelle1971-72109
Mark Messier1991-92107
Vic Hadfield1971-72106
Mike Rogers1981-82103
Brian Leetch1991-92102

Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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