Artemi Panarin is, without question, the straw that stirs the drink for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
But over the past month, he's seen a steep drop in production, and has been held without a goal over his past 12 games. To be clear, Panarin is still an incredibly effective player and his drought is still the envy of most of the league: over the 12 games without a goal, he's still managed to post eight assists.
Most importantly: the Blue Jackets have continued to roll along.
With 23 points in 22 games, Panarin is on track to set a career high in points and assists, while simultaneously putting up a career low in goals. It's a bit strange, but with line mates Cam Atkinson and Pierre-Luc Dubois scoring goals at a rampant pace, it's not been a glaring issue.
What is strange, though, is that Panarin is third on that line in scoring in each of the top line's past 12 games. Dubois has posted 6-5-11 in his last 12, and Atkinson's 9-4-13 is even more impressive. In that regard, Panarin's 0-8-8 does stand out in a bad way.
The below video basically sums that up. It's no time to hit the panic button, and he's still making things happen offensively. However, this video was posted more than a week ago. The man is due, and the Blue Jackets could have used some of Panarin's game-breaking brilliance in their 4-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Is it time to panic? Absolutely not. Panarin's 8.1% shooting percentage is an outlier on his career 13.5% rate, and significantly lower than his previous season-low of 11.8% (2017-18 season). That alone suggests he could see a few more goals go his way.
Also consider that Panarin has yet to score a power play goal on the season, and has just 0-4-4 with the man advantage. That is staggeringly low for such a talented player, and puts him on pace for a career low in power play points. Panarin's 23 points tie him for 37th in the NHL in points, and no player higher on the points list has done so with four or fewer power play points. Taylor Hall, another winger who has 23 points this season, has dined out on the power play to the tune of 10 points in 21 games.
It's clearly not time for Panarin to hit the panic button. The Blue Jackets are 6-4-2 since the last time he lit the lamp, and he's still helping produce on a first line that is scoring at an impressive rate. But one can't help but wonder when he'll recapture the magic that he began the season with, where he scored in three of the first four games. For Blue Jackets fans, the hope is that it comes sooner rather than later.
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