There's no point in playing White. He's a defensive liability too and has no future here. Smith is struggling badly, but it's a learning experience for him. Let the kids continue to develop in pressure situations.
Cleary has been a beast in front of the net, especially the last couple games. Even if he isn't putting up many points, he has been very valuable on that line
Exactly. Cleary had a very strong series against Anaheim. He is by no means inferior to Jordin Tootoo. That's nothing against Tootoo, but he's a 4th liner that hits people. Despite Cleary's injuries taking a toll on him physically, he battles still and was an asset to that second line. Five points was more than either Franzen or Filppula too in the first round, so I don't quite see why people are still fuming over Cleary's play. He was fine and played his role perfectly well.
Went to the Tigers game last night. Very loud "Let's Go Red Wings!" chant on the concourse when everyone was leaving.
Everything about this matchup says Chicago should win the series. More skilled, better depth, stronger defense. That's the fun part in of all this though is that for once nobody expects the Red Wings to advance. I think they have a slight shot, but it's going to require a split in Chicago and a continuation of the star players taking over games. Regardless of the outcome, I am just going to enjoy the ride. This team is still playing hockey and that's a treat in itself. The playoff experience for the young players going forward will be invaluable.