1) I don't think that Cleary is a 40-goal scorer, nor that he's Selke-caliber. I do believe that he's good for at least 20 goals per year and that he's a very solid all-around player.
2) Datsyuk's two goals against L.A. had no bearing whatsoever on Cleary being on or off the ice, and nor did his assists last night. You might as well say that Cleary being on the ice with Stuart was why the latter scored two goals last night; it would make just as little sense.
I'm not about to say that Brunnstrom/Nyquist is better than Cleary, but when a guy is struggling like Danny is right now, maybe bump him down a few lines to give him some different looks. Cleary can't finish right now, so maybe giving someone else a shot with better finishing skills RIGHT NOW would be an idea with some merit. Even on his current line with Z he looks a little lost to me, though he's definitely trying (had like 7 shots the other night). Could just be that a change of pace could help him return to form.
I'm not with anyone here saying Cleary is garbage. He's having a bad year is all. He's showed he's got finishing skills, but he's definitely snake bitten this year. Don't think the pre-season injury has helped him either. Maybe putting him on the 3rd line for a bit with Helm would give him some new looks and push him.
- Rick D likes this