COLUMBUS, Ohio - You look at Artemi Panarin play, and you go "What the H-E-double-hockey-sticks were the Chicago Blackhawks thinking when they traded this guy?
They obviously weren't thinking. What a terrible trade by the once-mighty Blackhawks. Panarin may not have had the flashiest stats in this but, but I thought he was the best player on the ice in the Columbus Blue Jackets' 5-2 win over the Avalanche at Nationwide Arena. All Panarin did his first three years as a Blackhawk was win a Stanley Cup, put up an 82-point season in year three and help Patrick Kane win a scoring title playing on his line.
The Blackhawks trade him before last year and fail to make the playoffs. Not without coincidence.
So much for the Avs being an unbeaten team anymore. One good period was sandwiched between two terrible ones, as the Avs fell to 2-1-0.
"He's got great poise with the puck. The way he's able to soak up pressure, he allows himself an extra second to make a play. Not a lot of guys can do that," said Avs defender Mark Barberio, his left hand wrapped in ice after the game. "We were flat coming out tonight. They were hungry on the forecheck and we were a step behind."
Let's go down the list of reasons why the Avs lost, not just because of the Bread Man, whose goal at 5:14 of the third period broke a 2-2 tie - a wicked wrister between the circles past the high glove of Avs goalie Philipp Grubauer, making his Avs career debut: