New York Islanders Cal The Top Liner (Winners & Losers)
Winner: Cal Clutterbuck
I feel like anyone who gets to play with John Tavares is an immediate winner. But put a fourth liner on that line and it’s like he won the lottery. So long as he can play that is. Just because you put John Scott next to Patrick Kane doesn’t mean he’s going to score…outside of the All-Star game that is.
Clutterbuck, unlike Scott, can play. Last season he put up 23 points on a line featuring Matt Martin and Casey Cizikas. Over his nine year NHL career the former third-round selection from the 2006 draft has accumulated 175 points. Averaging 20 points a season.
He hits just about anything on skates. Ranking fourth last year with 288 hits. It’s not to say that Clutterbuck is some sort of battering ram that has no regard for player safety. (Looking’ at you Radko).
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With his 288 hits Clutterbuck accumulated but 11 minor penalties (ranked tied-201st in the league) and no major penalties. Clutterbuck doesn’t play on the edge, he’s just a physical player. A “Good Canadian Boy” as Don Cherry would say.
Now put him on with Tavares and watch his production increase. He’s already got two points in the two games since he’s paired with Tavares.
Maybe now that Andrew Ladd has found a way to score Capuano will promote him back to the top line as a banner reading: “Mission Accomplished” is dropped across the Islanders plane to Florida. And sending Cal back to the fourth.