What is Wrong with Artem Anisimov?

Artem Anisimov hasn’t scored a point since December 22, 2011. His last point was an assist tallied against the New York Islanders, which begs the question should we even count that as a point? There is no denying that Anisimov is currently snake-bitten, Torts has tried putting him with the fourth line to light a fire under his ass but that clearly hasn’t done much for his confidence. I have always been a huge fan of Arty; how can I not be? The guy is like an adorable little Russian puppy that the Rangers found whimpering out in the rain and brought into the house and when the fans begged and pleaded, "Can we keep him?" the management said, "Oh, alright… but you have to be patient with him." Management also said something about picking up his leavings after we take him for a walk but screw that noise, the last thing I need to feel is the still-warm leavings of another being through a thin plastic bag. Join me for more after the jump (that is probably the last poo joke in the article, no promises though)...

Anisimov strikes me as a player whose confidence is very, very delicate and easily shattered. Not having registered a point for over a calendar month probably isn’t doing much for his confidence, playing on the fourth line probably doesn’t do a lot for that either. It wasn’t all that long ago when Anisimov was playing with Stepan and Gaborik and was part of the most dynamic line the team had. So I started to wonder when did Arty lose his confidence, when did our puppy lose his way?

Theory Number One

The Shooting Incident.

Just look at everyone picking on poor Arty. He looks terrified. Would you want to score goals after having everyone going after you like you were a giant, honey-glazed ham running around on a desert island filled with starving lions? I don’t think you would. Arty only has scored two goals since the Shooting Incident. Coincidence? I think not.

A guilt-ridden Anisimov apologized to his team after the fracas and drama of his celebration:

"Hey guys, sorry be me. I didn’t mean it like, do something bad tonight. Like when my, my celebration. Sorry."

Does that sound like a player who wants to go out there and score goals or does that sound like a little puppy that has lost his way?

Theory Number Two

Dark Chocolate.

This theory is directly tied to the Shooting Incident but I thought it deserved its own explanation. Joe Micheletti revealed during the December 8th broadcast that Anisimov eats a great deal of dark chocolate.

"He must have eaten a lot of dark chocolate today. He eats that dark chocolate, it gets him going for the game."

What if Torts forbid him from eating dark chocolate after the Shooting Incident? What if Arty received no dark chocolate for Christmas from his teammates? What if Arty has the heart of a hummingbird and is completely out of sorts when he doesn’t have the proper intake of sugar? These are the difficult questions we have to ask guys. We have to start kicking down doors and figuring out who the hell took away Anisimov’s chocolate or at the very least find some way to get some chocolate to him.

Theory Number Three

He hates the rain.

We all know this has been a very wet winter. Anismov comes from a country that is known for its snow, supermodels, and vodka. There are plenty of supermodels and places to get vodka in New York but is there snow? No. There hasn’t been much snow. And it has thrown Arty completely out of whack. Anisimov has been desperately trying to tell us how he feels about the weather and how it is making him feel since… yes, you guessed it, late December. Around the same time he stopped scoring… the plot thickens.

Anisimov42 Artem Anisimov 27 Dec

I hate rain

Anisimov42 Artem Anisimov 27 Dec

Now rain so bad in Washington dc.

Anisimov42 Artem Anisimov 27 Dec

So nice. pic.twitter.com/y9gkRVOc

Anisimov42 Artem Anisimov 23 Jan

Again a rain! Where the snow?! It is winter.

It is clear that Anisimov really has a strong dislike of the rain, has a soft spot for rainbows, and is befuddled by the lack of snow. I suggest the Rangers start firing up some snow machines and do whatever it takes to make him feel more at ease and comfortable. Perhaps we can also build a giant tarp and drape it over New York City to keep out the rain. The only issues we’ll face then is possibly suffocating everyone, the lack of light, and where to get that much tarp. Anyone have a gift certificate to Home Depot?

Theory Number Four

Trying too hard.

Is it just me or has Arty been trying too damn hard lately? He seems to be overhandling the puck when he has a good shooting lane and keeps trying to take the perfect shot. In that extra few fractions of a second he is taking to cradle the puck for the perfect wrister he is getting stick-checked, pressured, or the shooting lane closes and he ends up wasting a great opportunity. I think Arty has to keep it simple and just take the shots that are there and not try to pick a corner. The same could easily be said for Dubinsky and his scoring woes.

If Arty relaxed a little and went back to playing like he was at the beginning of the year he would find himself with a lot more chances to put the puck in the back of the net. Just throwing it on net, especially if he is playing with grinders and bottom six forwards is going to get him on the stat sheet a lot faster than trying to wrist it top shelf.

I am really pulling for Anisimov to get his game back on track. I hate to see a kid with so much potential playing on the fourth line when we all have seen flashes of brilliance in his game. In all honesty I think he just needs a little bit of luck and to get an ugly goal to get him back on track. Torts should keep giving Arty a chance to redeem himself and earn more minutes with better linemates, if we have Anisimov playing the way he has shown us he can play for stretches the last few years we will have a lot more depth scoring and lord knows we need as much of that as we can get. Even though it is becoming more and more a herculean task, I urge all of us to show Anisimov some patience. He is still very young, has all kinds of size and skill, and still is playing very strong defensively. And if he still hasn’t scored a point in another month, I suggest we buy him a new stick weapon and name it something badass like "The Hunter’s Bow", get all the dark chocolate we can get our hands on, and start pitching in to buy a really, really big tarp and a lot of snow machines.