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02-21-2013, 12:34 PM
Kjell Dahlin
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Location: Québec, Québec
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Originally Posted by Whitesnake View Post


Based on the fact that Eller has played so little time and that Pacioretty was playing with the worst line of the team, I say that both are doing Ok....Gionta is playing on the most succesful line of the team, mostly based on Plekanec extraordinairy play and Bourque resurgence and goal scoring. Gionta is no slouch....but I predict we can do better even amongst the forwards we have.

In a world where we rely on the production of everybody based on the fact that we don't have 25-point superstars in a lineup.....I would hope that if we are a top team in the conference, that our top 6 would have to have more points within a top 6. And not only that, but I do think that we HAVE other options on the 3rd line that should have Gionta's icetime instead and we wouldn't be too far off as far as quality of the team. Again, not saying, he sucks, not saying he's the worst hockey player on the planet, just saying that you need to recognize when a player is going down and when other players on a team are ready to take more and are on their way up...but you actually have to let them be on their way up. When Galchenyuk plays more minutes he actually becomes....better. The more Eller plays, despite his questionable IQ at time, the more confident and better he looks. You want to stick Gionta on a 3rd line, remove his PP time and get him some PK time? I say, it's a deal. In no way, does that mean that I want him out.

Besides, I believe Cole is WAY more a "problem" 'cause Gionta is not even a problem. But this is a Gionta topic...
At the beginning of the season, I was hoping for 3. Moen – Eller – Gionta as our tough minutes eating line so, here and here alone (!), I agree with you. A 3rd line of Prust – Eller – Gionta would be great!

However Galchenyuk needs ice-time and sheltered minutes so we need to spread our forces on 4 lines. Playing Gionta on 3rd (Galchenyuk is not ready to assume top 2 lines duties and he can’t play on 4th because he needs TOI) with Galchenyuk in a sheltered role would be a waste of Gionta's sound two ways play imo. Right now Eller is a better player than 19 years old Galchenyuk but I totally understand why they kept him with the big club and mid/long terms, it will pay dividend... to the team, Galchenyuk and Eller.

When you wrote “... you actually have to let them be on their way up...”, I guess you were referring to Gionta “obstructing” the way to Eller, right? Well here I disagree again! Eller is growing right before our eyes and he is currently playing his best hockey since he joined us. His play on 3rd/4th often is the main reason why we win games: our bottom lines are better than most of our opponents’ bottom lines with Eller in the line up.

Long story short:

19 years old Galchenyuk is learning
Elller, another young player, is playing his best hockey since joining us
Plekanec’s line is doing a great job
The team is winning

I like the mix and depth upfront but I sure don’t think that everything is perfect. You are right: looking for ways to improve must be a continuous process. I just don’t think that Gionta is on top of the list of priorities. In fact, I think he isn't on the freakin' list!

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