Artemi Panarin had been expected to become one of the greater Chicago players when he came to the NHL this season to play with the Blackhawks, yet they didn't know where he would fit in with the roster. Little did they know that he would form an amazing chemistry with Patrick Kane to make up a formidable second line for Chicago.
This is the story of two games against the Penguins, who have three of the NHL's best players in Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Phil Kessel. Yet, Panarin managed to overcome them all.
In early January, Chicago had a home and home series against Pittsburgh. In both of these games, Chicago won -- thanks to the Breadman, as Panarin's teammates call him.
Panarin's first impression on the Penguins - lighting the lamp behind Marc-Andre Fleury with a slapshot in the second period to make it 1-0 Blackhawks. Jonathan Toews would add one and the Penguins would tie the game before it went into overtime.
Overtime was the defining moment for the Breadman, The Blackhawks were passing, passing, passing, and the Penguins just couldn't keep up. Kane threw the puck to Panarin, Panarin threw it back, and so on. Soon, Kane and Panarin were circling around the Penguin net like eagles waiting to kill a Penguin (pun intended) and then Panarin just threw the puck towards the net. The move was so subtle, no one noticed that it had gone in, except for Panarin and Kane. The end.
Game two started out the same way. The Pens couldn't contain the Hawks' second line. Panarin, Kane, and Anisimov were throwing around the puck and the Pens just couldn't get to it. The Penguins were gasping for air, eagerly awaiting a break in play to catch their breaths, but before they could, it was 1-0 Hawks. Panarin had scored. Panarin would also add the game-winner later with a play so surprising that not even the commentators noticed it at first.
In this way, Artemi Panarin defines "yeast mode" with his outstanding play. The Breadman uses yeast to elevate his team, and hopefully will continue doing so for years to come (pun intended again).