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02-20-2013, 06:38 PM
  #122
Whitesnake
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Lorraine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike8 View Post
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.
Well maybe the healthy lineup, and somewhat to my surprise, could and should see a Ryan White centering the 4th based on what could be his faceoffs strengths, at least when you compare them to the rest of the C's. So frankly, if we want to see Eller evolves, he won't do it centering the 4th. So the day that he has enough confidence to also shine as a winger, something we didn't think possible, I most definately see Eller at Gionta's spot. Which in the end means a lineup of:

Eller-Pleks-Bourque
Gallagher-Galchenyuk-Pacioretty (interchange whoever on those lines, whether it's Eller, Gallagher or Pacioretty)
Prust-DD-Cole

My point being....I don't see a Gionta on a 4th line. But I would believe that to be a better team and to see our kids improve, that's where he should be playing. And like I mention...you could even give him tons of PK time if you want. Just no PP time. And reduce his minutes ES.

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