DETROIT – Danny Cleary isn’t like one of this pitchers you can’t talk to during a no-hit or perfect-game bid.
Cleary has been very much approachable during his current streak.
“If anything they’re on me more,” said Cleary, who has yet to start taping sticks for teammates. “Athletes tend to be superstitious, but you can’t let that creep into your mind if you forget to do them.
“Your mind can play tricks on you,” Cleary added. “But you definitely stick with a similar routine that’s for sure.”
Which leads to the question … how superstitious is Cleary.
“It’s nothing crazy like that,” Cleary said. “My routine doesn’t deviate much. You get your stretch, do your thing and soon you’re getting into game time.
“You can’t let little things affect your mind,” Cleary added. “You can’t worry about if you’re doing things the same way.”
Cleary entered Friday’s game against the Minnesota Wild riding a six-game goal scoring streak. He has eight goals during that stretch.
“I’m not to anal, no too crazy,” Cleary said. “I always try and keep the same routine I do.”
“A lot of these guys have there only little routines,” said goalie Jimmy Howard, whose position on the team is known for being the most superstitious out of any in hockey. “They probably say they don’t.”
Howard asked Kris Draper if he had superstitions or just routines on game day.
Draper smiled as he walked by and said, “I have a ton of superstitions.”
After further questions were asked, there are two things Cleary is superstitious about and one he just started during the streak.
Cleary has new laces put in his skates before every game and the newest thing is does is put on new Under Armour wrist bands before every game.
“I should have been, I wasn’t good enough,” Wings coach Mike Babcock grinned. “I don’t know if all those good players are superstitious at all, they just play.”
(One more interesting superstition … Henrik Zetterberg needs the water he drinks at room temperature.
Cleary extended his goal-scoring streak to six games on Wednesday night just by putting the puck on net and getting it to deflect off a St. Louis Blues defenseman and past the Blues netminder.
“It goes like that, it’s weird,” Cleary said. “I’m a big believer if you put the puck on net good things are going to happen. That was a good example.
“Then you see it go the other way,” Cleary added. “You can have a lot of great opportunities and you don’t score. You can’t settle. You have to stay hungry and go for it.”
Cleary’s previous longest goal scoring streak took place during the 2008-09 season where he put together a four-game streak. He scored a total of five goals in those four games.
“He’s having success because he’s playing hard, first,” Babcock said. “Secondly, the puck is going in because he’s shooting the more than he normally would. There must be a message in that. The guys who score the most goals every year shoot the puck the most.
“You’d think everyone would shoot the puck, but that’s not how it works,” Babcock added. “When you don’t score you don’t shoot the puck. That doesn’t make any sense to me.”