Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Notice to General Managers: Beware Panarin

Yvenko, because I don't have a picture of Panarin.
Tonight the Columbus Blue Jackets were swarmed under by the Boston Bruins, 6-2.  The Jackets suffered from some bad puck luck early, when an air ball (puck) from behind the net landed on Bobrovsky's back and rolled in the net.  The next goal was a good greasy goal by Boston, and they were playing with a lead from there.

These last few games from the Jackets have seen the puck luck change for them.  The pucks that hit the pipe on the Western road trip went in these last few.  Tonight, they went in for Boston early, most of which they earned, and it snowballed from there.

According to Bob McKenzie, reporting on Artemi Panarin prior to the trade deadline: Panarin is an elite offensive player, who can drive your offense.   To which I would add the qualifier, "unless you really need it".

Tonight the Blue Jackets got down early, through no fault of Artemi Panarin,  Down two goals early, with a playoff berth on the line, Panrin was a non factor.  He launched shots from the blue line, as if he was a defenseman, but don't look for him to get down to the crease and score the dirty one when your team needs it to make the playoffs. 

If I seem bitter about this, its because I am.  He did these things last year.  He won't do them this year, because he is not committed to this place and this organization.  Rest assured Mr. General Manager.  He will be more committed to your organization when you give him the long term money that he wouldn't accept from this organization.  Oh yes.  If you had pro scouts in the barn tonight, you would have seen your year 3 of your 7 year $10 million dollar contract.

Panarin set a record this year for points for the Columbus Blue Jackets.  Chances are, Mr. General Manager, the bar is a little higher for your organization.  Don't get fooled by this.  He will have set that record, and we may yet miss the playoffs.

Tonight was a team loss for the Columbus Blue Jackets.  It was not an individual loss.  But there was no ability to come back once they were down.  That's when 'elite' players are supposed to make the difference,  Tonight, they did not.  And I felt, watching the game, that Panarin's effort faded as the game went on.  Boston felt they could physically shove him out of his game.  They succeeded.  That was a much less frequent occurrence last year, hence my frustration.

It will be interesting to see if Montreal makes the playoffs because of Shaw's dirty hit on McQuaid, as he would have been very useful in this game.  That would mean the Player Safety Committee had a direct hand in who did, and did not make the playoffs.   That's a scary thought.  Nonetheless, McQuad wasn't available tonight, 5 days after a blind side head shot that wasn't deemed worthy of a suspension.  And they Blue Jackets coughed up goals right and left near the crease, where McQuad makes a living. 

Bad juju all around.  I'm good though.  I told the beer vendors good-bye, see you next year.  We have a long and close relationship.  With so many passengers like Panarin, it's hard to believe this team can win its way into the playoffs.  In reality, tonight should be treated as a "that's hockey' night.  It was Boston's night, they got some bounces, made some good plays, and came away with the win.  In a seven game series, you figure that will even out.  But the Jackets are not in a seven game series.  They were looking for 'elite players that can drive offense' when they were down 2-0.  You could find them easily.  Unfortunately, they were all wearing the Bruins colors tonight.

Maybe the Monsters will make the playoffs.


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