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02-20-2013, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Whitesnake View Post
Okay so let's just believe that Gionta has a fantastic defensive game (which isn't true, keeps losing tons of battles along the board but anyway...let's pretend...), he shouldn't be a top 6 of a top team in the conference. If so, it does mean that we are not a top team and we're about to know it. Put him on a 3rd instead...or even a 4th as I keep saying. Geez, start making him a PK specialist if you want. But doesn't deserve ANY time on the PP. And not top 6 minutes whatsoever. And let him impress us with his GREAT defensive game. But until he plays like that, he's hurting us and will be for the future. Still 1 more year after that.
This 'top 6' thing isn't all that relevant in this discussion. There are three lines that matter, so top 9. Galchenyuk's line, Plekanec's line, and Desharnais's line. Two of those three lines need to play sheltered minutes. One of those lines takes on the burden of shutting down the opposition. The fourth line shares a little bit of that burden.

Gionta fills a role on the team that only one other 'available' player (Eller) can fill, given the current make up of the team. If you want to argue that Eller should be playing in Gionta's role, while Gionta's playing the fourth line, okay. But that doesn't really work either, since in a healthy lineup, Eller plays C on the 4th line.

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