Despite all the talk about Zetterberg, Ericsson, and Conklin struggling this year, to me one player has stood out as being especially terrible: Dan Cleary. He’s been on the top two lines for the entire first two months of the season and had a paltry six points going into Saturday’s game. He’s a team worst -3 and has what appears to my eyes to be million turnovers. He’s looked behind this entire time, confused, and just plain bad. I truly believe that he’s kept Datsyuk down.
I'm not all down on Dan, make the jump for the rest.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love Cleary. His hard working, grinding, never give up attitude is exactly what the Wings need. Plus, he can step in as a scorer, which is a great ability to have.
But while he can step in as a scorer, that doesn’t mean he should. He’s a grinder, a hard working 3rd liner. He’s not pretty, he’s not that creative. He can’t keep up with the Datsyuk and Zetterbergs of the world. Bertuzzi and Filppula know how to, but Cleary doesn’t think like that. When he tries to be something he’s not, that’s when he’s going to struggle.
I loved the third line on Saturday. Cleary, Helm, and Eaves are all hard working grinders who can occasionally put the puck in the net. This was the first time I saw the Dan Cleary we all knew from the past few years. He looked confident, strong and effective. The line buzzed all night and
It’s a damn shame that Eaves was hurt, but I think Brunnstrom would fit well into his place. Emmerton doesn’t bring the same offensive touch that we need in a third liner. But all I know is that I hope the idea for the lines stays the same. Cleary is a third liner and it needs to stay that way until absolutely necessary.
Totally agree. I have been saying all season that Cleary was a grinder who didn't do well as a top line grinding wing either. The Eaves injury is sad, because I think he is actually more of a Top 6 forward than Cleary. I would still like to see Homer up on one of the top two lines, because I think he fits really well with them. Brunnstrom strikes me as one of those guys who plays to the level of his linemates, so he might well be a good choice on the top lines too. Abbie is ok on of the top lines, but not terribly exciting there. Emmerton needs to stay in GR or scratched...
It was funny ... I was asking "hey what is hudler doing on zetterberg's line" Then I started looking for the odd man out and was like ... oh cleary , now where is he... Oh the 3rd line. That is where he has always been best he started his "top 6" string with injuries and could tip some pucks and retrieve them as well, HOWEVER... It is not easy when your play style does not match with other line mates.
He is and always has been a grinder for the wings that has the ability to finish and earn his way to top 2 lines, but he is best used for a grinder when everyone is healthy. Helm, Abby, Cleary to me would seem like a nice fit to cause nothing but havoc to the other teams. It seems like whoever has been out with helm and abby this year has always done better. To me that 3rd line is starting to look like a second generation grind line out there.
I couldn't agree more. I think Cleary has had a couple of great years but to expect that he's a top 6 forward each year is pushing it. I think he's extremely valuable on the third line, especially when we're facing talented teams who have good third and fourth lines. Plus, I don't know about you guys, but doesn't it seem like Cleary falls down a lot (or gets pushed down)? Next time we play, just keep an eye on him and see how often he's on his arse. Just sayin!
@marti783 totally agree. that is the first thing i noticed this year and started paying attention to how many times datsyuk passed him the puck and he would lose it.
I was surprised at how well Helm and Cleary worked together. It is a huge bummer that Eaves is out for awhile but this is why we signed Brunnstrum. This could go two ways; Babs puts Abby with Helm and Cleary and brings Emmerton on the 4th line again, or Fabien gets a chance on the 3rd or 4th lines depending where Abby gets put. Of course predicting Babcock's lines is redundant because they change every 5 minutes once the game starts. Whatever happens though, this Helm-Cleary partnership is going to pay huge dividends.
@JOHNxJOHN I think the Helm-Abby combo has been one of the most potent and consistent lines when it comes to sustaining pressure and holding onto, or creating, momentum. Babs will use them to motivate whoever needs a kick in the pants at a particular moment. Cleary does fit perfectly as the default on that line though. And yes, line combos are always a fluid concept with Mr. Babbles.
@JOHNxJOHN Agreed. Cleary is a great finisher for Helm.