Daniel Cleary had more than his share of quality scoring chances for the Red Wings in their Winter Classic game with the Maple Leafs on New Year’s Day at Michigan Stadium. In fact, Cleary had three of them, but came up empty each time in the Red Wings’ shootout loss to the Maple Leafs. “It was a great experience,” said Cleary of playing before an announced crowd of 105,491 at the Big House. “It was an intimate setting, considering there were 110,000 people, pretty awesome really. “I had a lot of looks at the net, feel like my type of game.” Cleary’s best chance could have been in the opening period when he was set up by Pavel Datsyuk’s pass from the right corner, but Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier stopped his shot from point blank range with seven minutes left. Then, Cleary had two chances in the second, but shot the puck through the crease at the midway point, then he broke in alone on Bernier, who made a save during the Red Wings’ power play with 5 ½ minutes left. “It was a different feel than Wrigley,” said Cleary who played with the Red Wings when they defeated the Blackhawks, 6-4, in the Winter Classic at Wrigley Field in Chicago five years ago. “I don’t know. It’s (Michigan Stadium) a great venue to host a hockey game for sure, but too bad there was that much snowfall because it affected a little bit of the play, just handling the puck.” While Cleary failed to take advantage of his chances, the Leafs’ James Van Riemsdyk had three grade A chances … all coming in the second period, and he capitalized on his final one. “I got a couple of whacks on the rebound and it went in,” said Van Riemsdyk, who attended Ann Arbor Pioneer while playing for the USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program.
Red Wings' Daniel Cleary misses flurry of chances in Winter Classic loss
Detroit News | Jan 2