All I can say is that Cleary is a +2 while Tootoo (small sample size I get that) is a -4.
I have never liked Tootoo's style,I admit that is a personal bias.
I think he is a border line Matt Cooke/Chris Simon, with a little effort either way he could be a complete Thug, or a very good checking forward.
Unfortunately his play is still in between those, and thus gets frustrating to me.
You are ok with a Patrick Eaves who is injured a lot and had a good year a few years ago, but Cleary's Playoffs last year are not good enough?
Dano was not a barn burner last year during the reg season, but come playoff time he stepped it up.
IMO, he is more responsible in his own end than Tootoo, and to me Eaves doesn't really get me that much more excited than Cleary.
(Not that this is what you are doing, but) I could have predicted the Dan Cleary for LGW whipping boy long before the season started.
for me it all boils down to linemates. cleary has been given tons of quality minutes with our top players, while eaves, miller, tootoo, etc are all just spare parts put wherever we need someone.
my opinion of watching these guys play over several seasons is that dan cleary rarely if ever makes the line he is on better. point wise he had a great playoff last year. but forgive me if bouncing pucks in off his *&# gets me excited! sure he went to the net, but so will eaves, tootoo, or anyone else.
i feel like eaves has always been a player that plays a strong game. and when needed he will step up into a bigger role for a short time and at least not make the line he is on look bad.
i guess overall, where i am coming from is that eaves has a history of being solid in that role and has done nothing to show he cant continue to be solid. conversely, cleary has just continued to look very awful out there. and while he has managed to keep a +2, he also only has 4 points even though he has the 7th most minutes played for forwards including over 24 minutes of PP time. which is actually almost as many minutes as eaves has been given total!
either way, thanks for the polite discussion!