It was an unusual scene in the locker room at the MSG Training Center. Artemi Panarin, speaking (through an interpreter) about the disappointment of last spring’s playoffs and how he needs to return to being the player he was in Columbus and his first year with the Rangers, while sporting the newest T-shirt offering from the team’s store.

Panarin will never surrender his playful sense of humor — the shirt is a reference to the congratulatory video Panarin sent to the team when Jacob Trouba was named captain last month — but when it comes to his game, the 30-year-old can be quite serious.

He said that there were “15 to 20 good games in the main chunk of the season” but that in the playoffs, his confidence waned. “There were a few unfortunate mistakes I made,” he said. “That probably shouldn’t have happened.”

It’s a harsh self-critique from a player who finished with 74 assists, six off the franchise record, and 96 points in a standout regular season. Panarin said that at times last season, he was too focused on playing a strictly north-south game, moving up and down the wall to keep things simple. That is not his preferred style.

“Recently I’ve been focusing more on the wing, and it’s easier for everyone else to play with me in that sense,” Panarin said. “But I really need to start being everywhere and doing everything. It will help me progress as a player, and it will definitely make it more difficult for the opponent to figure out our game. And it will help my teammates because it was more of a game of throwing the puck down the boards. A really simple game, easy to figure out. And my teammates weren’t developing as much as they should.”

That attitude is manifesting itself through this early stage of training camp in Panarin’s tutelage of Vitali Kravtsov, the once-wayward first-round pick who has returned after some ugly moments with general manager Chris Drury and a return to Russia last year after failing to make the Rangers out of camp a year ago. The 22-year-old Kravtsov is working with Panarin and Vincent Trocheck in the early going, and Panarin has taken as much extra time as he can find to work with his young linemate, either in conversation after drills or scrimmage shifts or, as the two did yesterday, practicing battle drills along the wall following a scrimmage.