Redemption could be one shot away for Artemi Panarin in Game 7

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-New York Rangers at New Jersey Devils
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Saying that Artemi Panarin has struggled in these playoffs would be an understatement.

After leading the New York Rangers in regular-season scoring with 92 points, the highest-paid player on the team has just two assists in this series against the New Jersey Devils. Both of those helpers came in Game 1 of a 5-1 victory.

Coming into this postseason, Panarin was looking to atone for a less than stellar playoffs last year. In 20 postseason games, he recorded only 16 points but did score the OT winner in Game 7 versus the Pittsburgh Penguins to complete a 3-1 series comeback.

So despite all the difficulties he’s had through six matches, Panarin could be just one shot away from redemption.

Artemi Panarin needs a big Game 7

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-New Jersey Devils at New York Rangers
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Things have not gone well for Panarin so far and you can see that it’s getting to him.

According to multiple reports, the 31 year-old forward was one of the few regulars at the Rangers’ optional practice on Sunday. He did speak with the media afterwards but did not want to talk about his game specifically.

Panarin is undoubtedly feeling the pressure, especially coming off the heels of last year’s playoff performance.

Rumors surfaced after the Rangers were eliminated by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Final that president and general manager Chris Drury was not pleased with Panarin’s production. That reported criticism led to speculation that the Rangers may try and trade him.

In a Russian interview posted on the YouTube channel for Sports-Express last summer, Panarin was asked specifically about the situation.

“I’m just shocked by this. Where are they trading me? They can’t trade me,” Panarin stated. “If these people understood at least a little, they would know that my contract [has a no-move clause] and a trade is impossible.”

Panarin signed a 7 year deal back in 2019 with the Rangers that included a full no-move close for the duration of the contract. He’s wrapping up the fourth year of the deal which concludes at the end of the 2025-26 season.

In four seasons with the Blueshirts, Panarin has 100 goals, 241 assists, for 341 points in 268 regular-season games.

Of course, at this time of year people don’t care about regular-season stats. There’s a lot of scrutiny on Panarin’s postseason production, which he can make go away with just one shot.

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