Monday, December 27, 2010
Cleary cracks ankle - gone for a month
Cleary, who struggled for most of last season with a knee injury, scored his 16th goal in the first period. The right winger has become an integral part of Detroit’s offense and his consistency and energy will be missed. "Cleary is one of those … I don't think he really maybe gets the credit he deserves," defenseman Niklas Kronwall told the newspaper. "He's doing a really, really good job for us, and I think he's been one of our most important guys so far. He's one of our leaders. It's tough to lose him."
The feeling is shared by Cleary, who will be replaced in the lineup by callup Jan Mursak. "I'm really upset about it," he told the newspaper. "I don't know what to say. No bright side. Just, four or five weeks, make sure I get back to playing the way I was, that'll be the goal."
In the 2009 Stanley Cup playoffs on May 14, 2009, Cleary scored the tie breaking, Western Conference semi-final series winning goal for the Detroit Red Wings against the Anaheim Ducks with 3 minutes left in Game 7. With the win the Red Wings moved on to face the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Final. Cleary scored 5 goals against his former team in a 4-1 series win clinching the Western Conference title before succumbing to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 7 games in a rematch of the previous Stanley Cup finals.