The Columbus Blue Jackets forward isn’t looking like his usual self as of late.
He’s been taking longer shifts than the coaching staff seemingly wants him to, he’s turning over the puck on the rush constantly and holding onto the puck when he clearly should pass it off. He may lead the team in assists however without Cam Atkinson‘s scoring touch, Panarin would have very few points this season.
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Panarin many times seems like he’s interested in showing off and attempting to increase his personal stock rather than put the team in a position to win. Despite that, he’s still consistently leading forwards in ice time.
Whenever Panarin comes in off the rush, regardless of if it’s a 2 on 1 or 3 on 2, he seems to go to his off wing and attempt to deke around the defenders instead of passing it to someone more central who can make a better play.
Some fans praise Panarin for refusing to get off the ice in high intensity situations, however it sends a message of disrespect to teammates. That type of action essentially tells teammates that he doesn’t believe they can score, and a worn out Artemi Panarin is better than a fresh version of anyone on the bench.
If that’s not enough, Panarin is on pace to set a career low in goals. He only has 7 goals through 29 games, and it’s possible he finishes with under 20 goals for the first time in his career. It’s time for John Tortorella to consider cutting Panarin’s ice time and potentially even moving him off the top line if he wants to send a message.
If Panarin wants to be a true superstar in the NHL, he needs to do more than make easy passes in front of the net that turn into Cam Atkinson goals and turn the puck over. The Columbus Blue Jackets need to expect more out of him as well and treat him like any other player despite his pending contract issues.