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Hockeytown0001

WCSF Game 2 GDT : Red Wings 4 at Blackhawks 1 - (Series Tied at 1)

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- Miller or Eaves? Both are 4th liners that are effective on the PK and forecheck/skate hard. Neither produces enough offensively to play in a top-six role for an extended period of time.

I'd like to see Eaves given a shot. He had a couple good seasons for us before getting sidelined with injury. I don't think he has a ton of offensive potential, but he can't be worse than Cleary.

Edited by Z and D for the C

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I agree with Eaves or Miller and I wouldn't be opposed to Samuelsson either. I think all would provide more offense and be more responsible defensively than Cleary. I think any of those players would equal the point output that Cleary has had with their entire season spent playing with the top 6 forwards.

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'Hawks fans have been all over Cleary too.

When someone uses the opinions of Blackhawks fans to support their bashing of Cleary, to me that's a pretty clear indication that it's gone beyond criticism to obsessive scapegoating.

Another indication is people still fixating on Cleary in the GDT after the Wings had a convincing win over the Hawks. I guess it's easier to be negative than optimistic, even after a big win.

(To be clear: I am not arguing Cleary has been playing great or that any criticism is unwarranted. Merely that it's now reached the point where people practically bash him for the way he hops over the boards to take a shift).

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'Hawks fans have been all over Cleary too.

I don't really put any stock into that at all. I trust Mike Babcock's judgment more than a fanbase that chants "Detroit Sucks" at every chance.

I'd like to see Eaves given a shot. He had a couple good seasons for us before getting sidelined with injury. I don't think he has a ton of offensive potential, but he can't be worse than Cleary.

I actually wouldn't be opposed to Eaves either. Remember though, Cleary is actually putting up points at a decent clip in the playoffs despite the barrage of critcism. The physical part of Cleary's game has completely deteriorated, but he's still solid defensively and goes into the tough areas of the ice to retrieve pucks for his linemates. Going to the net and having pucks hit you isn't flukey either. Somebody has to do it and Cleary, along with Abdelkader, are really the only two forwards on the team willing to accept that responsibility on a consistent basis. Eaves is more of a perimeter forward that utilizes his strong shot. If Cleary is with Z and Fil and you remove him from that line, who is that presence down low then?

I'm not defending Cleary because I think he is in 2009 form still. For most of the season, he was downright useless. However, in the playoffs he has battled and done just fine in the role he has been asked to play. He can't skate anymore, nor pass, but there are positives to his game that seem to consistently get overlooked lately.

Again, not advocating for a new contract with the Wings this summer. The bashing of Cleary though is relentless here.

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Cleary hasn't been perfect, but his positives outweigh his negatives in this post season. He isn't costing us games, and he has a presence in front of the net that has led to quite a few goals this post season run. With him and Franzen on each of the two first lines, We have guys to get in front of the net to make the goalies life difficult. Swap him out with a skill guy and production of that line goes down.

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Two historic numbers to pitch in:

This was the Club's 600th playoff game game, with a record of 318W-281L-1T

This was Head Coach Mike Babcock's 106th game, moving him into second place on the Club's all-time lis, ahead of "Jack" Adams (Bowman, 134).

One tie? ..how?

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