[quote name="Playmaker" post="2406686" timestamp="1368902201"]Smith is a rookie who is going to make mistakes. Pucks will get past you at the point. If Cleary does his job, it's a good scoring chance, and nothing more. He's a seasoned playoff veteran and shouldn't be making plays like this. Cleary isn't the scapegoat. He's getting well deserved criticism for his extremely poor play.[/quote
What you call "well-deserved criticism" is what I'd call obsessive overkill. He is not playing well. But Cleary commentary has gone from well-chosen, logical and timely remarks to a kind of pubescent, smart-ass, sarcastic let's-all-dump-on-him-because-it's-the-current-thing-to-do thing. Kind of like mindless, absentee bullying. What I find interesting about my own reaction is that whether it's my business or not; and even though I don't have any control over it, I feel embarrassed and sad for those of you who are persisting, even when he plays ok. It's just a guess here. A stab in the dark? But I'm thinking the point has been made that Daniel Cleary is not playing well.
Sorry, but I think the both of you are being a bit overly sensitive. Like I said, I don't have a history of bashing or doing the "TRADE HIM" bit if someone has a bad game and I can't control what anyone else does or says. But the bottom line is, for two full seasons, Cleary has been a shell of his former self. He struggles with many basic things like clearing the zone or taking the right guy defensively (which wouldn't be so bad if his "defensive prowess" wasn't constantly given as his reason for being in the line up every day) His skating is painfully slow. He rarely hits any more has litte playmaking ability left and doesn't seem capable of standing in front of the net to make a play. That doesn't take away what he did in the past and it doesn't mean he doesn't occasionally make a decent play, nor does it mean other players aren't struggling as well.
This is almost like a Brandon Inge reinicarnation. The guy was hitting a buck fifty and trotted out as the starting 3B every day and was actually given a shot at 2B when Cabrera moved to third and yet if you said anything, you were a "hater" and a "bully". Then once in a blue moon he'd get like an infield squibber or field a basic ground ball, and it was like "See!!! Look at how good he is! He made that play!"
Oh, AND he's good in the community! Well, so was Mother Theresa, but I don't want her playing on my team.
He's been a completely ineffective player, yet every game this season, there he is with Datsyuk and Zetterberg, on the PP, on the ice in the final minute of a game while guys like Eaves, Miller and others are sitting in the press box on any given night and while guys like Tatar are wasting away in Grand Rapids. Most of his goals are the result of him being the last guy it hit on the way to the net and a great many of his assists are him just getting the puck to 13 or 40 and having them do their magic. When Brunner was having a bad stretch he was pulled from the lineup, made to sit a few games and then was reinsterted on the 3rd line. When Ian White and Carlo Colaiocovo struggled, they were benched in favor of young players. Same with Tootoo, Berrtuzzi and Samuelsson. Not Cleary.
I was willing to give Cleary the benefit of the doubt last season because it was supposedly his bad knees and once he had surgery over the summer, he'd be back to his old self. That didn't happen. His decline has continued. But there he is, in the lineup, in the top 6 game after game. I suppose that's on Babcock. I have a great deal of respect for him, but I don't agree with him on how he's handled Cleary. His blind devotion is baffling.
I'm not here as often as many others are, but I haven't seen nearly as much Cleary bashing as I have for Franzen, Filppula, Smith, and Quincey. No one has called him "Danielle" and I haven't seen any personal attacks, mostly just pointing out his poor play during a game day thread.