Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Fantasy follies
Put out an APB for Cleary

By any reasoning, I should be doing just fine in fantasy hockey these playoffs. I picked the Red Wings to romp to the finals, and they did (they'll beat the Rangers, right?) and I managed to draft two key components of the team that finished first in the NHL this season.

Unfortunately, they are Dan Cleary and Dominik Hasek.

The Dominator, well, there was always that possibility he'd fail me. There aren't all that many 43-year-old goaltenders with Gumby groins on the Cup, and he'd been wildly inconsistent all year.

It was a gamble. I lost.

But Cleary? Heck, he'd had a breakout season this year, scoring 20 goals for the second year in a row and notching 42 points in 63 games. He signed a big contract and was set for top two line minutes on a pretty strong offensive team.

Mr. Cleary has two points in 16 games so far in these playoffs. I would have been better off with $50 swirling down the toilet bowl.

(At least the throne doesn't ridicule you when it takes your money.)

Next to Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, who have 21 and 19 points so far, Cleary is tops in ice time among Detroit forwards with more than 17 minutes played a game. I would have been better off, however, picking Niklas Kronwall (12 points), Valtteri Filppula (seven points), Dallas Drake or Kris Draper (four points).

Gary Roberts has more points, and he's played only six games. Snipers Loui Eriksson, Scottie Upshall, Max Talbot, Braydon Coburn, Patrice Brisebois, Craig Rivet, Michal Rozsival Ruslan Salei, David Krejci, Jeremy Roenick, Tyler Arnason and Mattias Norstrom all have more than twice as many points — in fewer games played — than Dan Cleary.

That, friends, makes no sense.

And it's not as if he hasn't had any chances, as Cleary sits 22nd in playoff shots on goal with 38. His shooting percentage was 11.3 in the regular season. It's 2.6 in the postseason, last among players with 31 shots or more.

At least he's been good defensively. Yay.

"For me personally, I definitely have to go out and do more," Cleary said. "But don't put too much pressure on yourself, because you tighten up a little bit."

It's too late for my pool team, but Detroit will need more out of his 17 minutes in the finals.



At 1:21 a.m., May 21, 2008, Blogger Nick said...

Cleary has been pretty quiet these playoffs. He and Filppula have had a ton of near misses. I didn't realize Drake was out-pointing him though, that's pretty funny. He hasn't been the same since he took that puck to the face

At 6:43 a.m., May 21, 2008, Blogger Black Dog said...

I feel our pain. A decent performance from Cleary and I'd be at the top of my pool.

Not too late but one thinks the Wings may need him to score a few before this is all said and done.

At 7:37 a.m., May 21, 2008, Blogger Jeff J said...

Me too.

Still, it's better to lose with Cleary than it is to win with Ribeiro.

At 7:46 a.m., May 21, 2008, Anonymous Justin said...

I'm a Wings fan, and I should tell you that you have nobody to blame but yourself for making a poor draft decision by taking Cleary. He hasn't been the same (read: on a massive cold streak) offensively since his broken jaw, and that mask he has to wear severely hampers him by his own admission. If you had done your research properly, you would've known better.

At 10:10 a.m., May 21, 2008, Blogger FAUX RUMORS said...

1) Geez, if only Cleary had played better perhaps the Wings may have had a chance. LOL
2) Amazing that they seem to not miss him and are rolling along just fine, thanks. A testament to their depth

At 10:42 a.m., May 21, 2008, Blogger saskhab said...

At least they haven't resorted to benching him in favour of other players like Tortorella did with Stillman in 2004. So I guess that proves he isn't a liability.

When Franzen went down, they needed him. The Wings were 3-2 without Franzen still, but man their offensive depth was lacking.

At 10:43 a.m., May 21, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He has fewer points than scoring machine Tom Kostopolous.

At 11:14 a.m., May 21, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

If you had done your research properly, you would've known better.

Aw, common — I wasn't looking for a world beater here. The guy could have six or seven points now and it'd be better than what he's turned up.

And it's not like he's not playing plum minutes.

(Besides, I seem to fare okay in pools.)

At 11:20 a.m., May 21, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Cripes, you're not even right. Cleary only played six regular season games after the injury and had two points.

You have to base picking the guy on that? Plenty of players have been effective with a full cage over the years.

At 6:17 p.m., May 21, 2008, Blogger erik said...

Paul Kukla posted an article about him today that may help you with your excuses for doing badly a bit.


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