PP zone entry is atrocious without Z or Pavel to skate the puck in. I know it isn't their typical move, but maybe dump it in and go get it instead. Skating through four defenders at the blue line isn't working.
Nyquist could have been up the entire season without Cleary and I think even six games of evidence has proven Nyquist could handle the minutes. Hell, I would definitely argue that all of Eaves, Tootoo and Glendening in Grand Rapids are better options.
This isn't just a case of "anyone would be better than Cleary." It's absolutely true given the abundance of forwards in the organization back in September and still today.
The Wings have absolutely no roster or cap space. You can't just magically sign a tough guy for one game to go after Cowen. While I'm not defending the situation Holland has placed the team under, the circumstances don't lend themselves to getting "tougher" against Ottawa.