Nov 24, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; Detroit Red Wings center Stephen Weiss (90) during a game against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Opportunity Knocks For Weiss And Cleary

No Henrik Zetterberg.

No Pavel Datsyuk.

This is the reality the wings are facing for the foreseeable future but there’s a silver lining: it’s a great opportunity for Stephen Weiss and Dan Cleary to step up their respective games.

For whatever reason Weiss just hasn’t been a good fit since signing with the Wings this summer. He hasn’t meshed well with any of his linemates and has yet to rediscover the scoring touch that made him a prominent player for the Florida Panthers for a decade.

Similarly, Cleary has looked anemic on most nights… and that’s only when you actually notice that he’s on the ice.

Their struggles this season have been well documented so I’ll spare you anymore grim details, but needless to say in the absence of their two best players Detroit could sure use an offensive boost from the two slumping veterans.

Both will almost assuredly see more ice time than they have over the past few weeks churning away on the Wings’ fourth line. If they’re lucky they might even work their way back on to the man advantage.

In Florida, Weiss was depended upon being a primary source of offense for the Panthers.  Maybe with the loss of Zetterberg and Datsyuk he will feel indispensable again and find the motivation to be the dominant player he was in the Sunshine State.

On the other hand, Cleary has never been considered a true offensive guru. Yet, he has always found a way to be a consistent contributor for the Red Wings.

That all changed this year.

Fortunately, for 90 and 71 there’s still time to right their wrongs… and there’s no time like the present.

They get their first crack at it against Philadelphia on Wednesday night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: Daniel Cleary Detroit Red Wings Stephen Weiss

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