Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cleary Quietly Producing

So apparently 'good news' means 'no news' when it comes to Detroit.  After they lost to the Dives?  No one would shut up about it.  But after they make the all and powerful Ro-Borat-o Luongo eat his lunch?  Nothing.  Just the generic rhetoric you would expect if the Flint Generals won a game from...whoever the hell else plays in that league.

So instead of looking for a story to comment on, I thought I'd do a little research of my own and come up with one.  I've watched every single Wings game this year (5 in person)..okay, I fell asleep after the 2nd period against the 'Yotes, and thank god for that.  But what I've noticed, or should say "haven't really noticed" thus far this year, is Dan Cleary.  Don't really hear his name much, no 'Game Star' honors.  So I thought I would do the usual minimum amount of research and come up with a story about how he isn't playing up to par. You know what I found...he is.

Cleary sits at 1G-4A for 5 Pts. (let's ignore the fact that he's -5).  So through ten games he has an average of 0.1 goals per game and  0.4 assists per game.  Do your simple math, project that over 82 games, and you're looking at about 8 goals and 32 assists for 40 points.  Here's what Cleary has done thus far as a member of the Detroit Red Wings...

2005-2006: 3G-12A-15 Pts
2006-2007: 20G-20A-40 Pts
2007-2008: 20G-22A-42 Pts
2008-2009: 14G-26A-40 Pts

So it would appear that Detroit's favorite Newfie is right on track for another 40 point season.  What's that you say?  He's supposed to be producing more because of all the scoring we lost to Free Agency?  Well I have four short but strong words for you: shut the hell up. 

Cleary's point totals are actually quite impressive if you consider that he's basically played on a line with everyone on the team at some point.  He's played  the wing of the first line as well as the fourth line.  Recently, Babcock has fallen in love with the idea of putting him out there with Todd Bertuzzi...a move that I questioned at first.  The two big-bodied wingers seem to be playing well with each other, especially with Filppula between them.  When (if) Dan can finally settle in with the same linemates for a string of consecutive games, it wouldn't be unfair to assume that an increase in point output is likely.

Cleary seems almost a lock for 15-20 goals every season and at least 40 points.  As I said before, the fact that he's playing at 0.5 points per game amidst the goal-starved Wings is impressive.  Here's a question for you, "how many goals does Cleary end up having to celebrate while laying on his back?"  Who wants to look up that little peach?  My guess is more than a couple times. year in and year out.  This is due to the fact he is alwayss up in the goaltender's grill and not afraid to muck it up and score a dirty one (ask Jonas Hiller).

So just because he's not lighting the lamp like MaryAnne Hossa or Mikael Samuelsson, don't be so quick to jump all over him (as I was about to do).  If you don't see him on the scoresheet right away, don't worry: you can find him where he always is - mixing it up along the boards, going to war in the corners, and giving the opposing netminder fits.

1 comment:

  1. i love clears! he's my 3rd favorite Wing (behind Z and Dats)