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02-19-2013, 12:18 PM
Feed Me A Stray Cat
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Devils could use a real third line center

While everyone loves Stephen Gionta's story, and he has far exceeded my expectations, he should be demoted to fourth line duties as soon as possible.

Gionta is a quick player who has some grit and plays pretty well on the PK. He can pot a couple goals and make some plays because of his nose for the net.

However, when he is on the ice, the teams gets absolutely smoked in posession.

Gionta has the worst CorsiRel among forwards by a far margin while starting in the offensive zone more than half the time. That's bad. Moreover, his faceoff percentage is a dismal 30%, which might be a large reason for and certainly compounds the possession issues.

Gionta has also been the beneficiary of some fortunate even strength puck luck, as the team is shooting 16.7% when he is on the ice. That won't continue, so expect his 0.50 ppg pace to slow.

While we could certainly use a top line winger, we could also really use a third line center who can take faceoffs and not get smoked by other team's top lines.

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