Sure you can. But we don't even need to get into that.
Franzen's getting paid good money. He's got long-term job security. He plays on a line with Pavel Datsyuk. By his own admission, he doesn't care much for the regular season, preferring to save the goods for the playoffs.
The Preds beat us in five games. Franzen scored all of one goal, and it was flukey. He was essentially a no-show - and I'm not just talking about his point production. Worst of all, he wasn't having fun. (The poor, poor guy.)
Is he the reason the Wings lost? No, it was a "team effort." Is he the only lazy guy on the roster? No. Is he the only one who disappeared against the Preds? No.
Is his disappearing act completely disappointing and unacceptable? Yes.
Cleary was a bigger force for us against the Preds, and he was playing on one leg. Cleary elevates his game in the postseason. It's not magic, it's not rocket science, it's nothing any pro hockey player can't do. Cleary gives it his all. He plays with serious heart (and balls of steel). The competition is tougher in the playoffs, so he works harder, invests himself more deeply, more thoroughly. He's totally committed, totally engaged.
Franzen? Not so much! Which is a genuine shame, and absolutely worth bitching about. Why? Bottom line: he has incredible potential. In this, he is, ironically, not unlike young Dan Cleary.
That doesn't make any sense. I said you can't say Franzen's production is fine, while criticizing effort. Here you are criticizing his production, so what you quoted doesn't apply.
I have no problem with Franzen being criticized for his performance against the Preds. I don't agree that is was laziness, but whatever. I have a wierd feeling that somehow this is going to turn into some "Franzen disappears in the playoffs" thread. How ironic that would be.
I know you're not blaming him solely for the loss, but I think you (and others) are using him as an outlet for your anger over the disappointing loss. I do believe that if we had won, and went on to win the Cup, and that flukey goal was his only point in the playoffs, you'd see a lot less criticism of him.
I think that shows in the double standard you show in this post. You criticize Franzen for saying he "saves the goods for the playoffs", then praise Cleary for the very same thing. (If Cleary works harder in the playoffs, then by definition he is not giving 100% in the regular season.) No one expected Cleary to score, so no one was disappointed when he didn't. Many expected Franzen to be dominant so his ineffectiveness was disappointing. Makes him an easy target.
There's no basis for this "Franzen has incredible potential" line. In over 500 career games he's had maybe 20 or so where he's looked like the superstar some people seem to think he should be. Those are anomolies, and you can't base your everyday expectations from them. Sometimes, things just click. The puck seems to follow you, shots seem to find all the seams, etc. Other times it goes the other way. As a whole he looks like just a good NHL goal-scorer. Closer to Cleary (or at least what we should expect from Cleary playing in the top-6) than an elite superstar like some seem to think he should be.