New York Islanders Need Cal Clutterbuck to Re-Emerge

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 18: Cal Clutterbuck
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 18: Cal Clutterbuck
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new york islanders
NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 25: Cal Clutterbuck

New York Islanders Clutterbuck vs. Minnesota Wild Clutterbuck

Clutterbuck’s offense hasn’t been overwhelming by any means. He was never advertised to be that type of guy. Clutterbuck has 47 goals and 47 assists over 337 games played over five seasons with the New York Islanders. His first six seasons in Minnesota saw a more productive Cal Clutterbuck, on all fronts.

In 346 games with the Minnesota Wild, Clutterbuck had 62 goals, 48 assists and a -27 plus/minus rating. With the Isles, over almost the same amount of games, Clutterbuck has played to a +3 rating. That makes up, in a way, for his drop-off in offensive output since coming to New York.

More from Eyes On Isles

Clutterbuck racked up a whopping 337 PIM in his first six seasons in the NHL, compared to only 186 PIM in his last five since being traded. Clearly, this is a result of Clutterbuck being asked to change his game plan from being an agitator to one more focused on offense.

What the New York Islanders need from Cal Clutterbuck

Cal Clutterbuck will need to rediscover some of the magic that made him such a spark plug over the course of his career. Obviously, his agitation skills have taken a back seat to being more of a leader to this young New York Islanders team.

That doesn’t mean that we’ve seen the last of the Cal Clutterbuck we’ve all come to love. For example, consider the Isles game in Philadelphia a few weeks ago. Yes, that was an embarrassing loss to an inferior team during an extremely rough time for the New York Islanders.

Even in the loss, Clutterbuck was directly responsible for the signs of life we saw out of the Islanders that night. Those vital signs sparked a change in the outlook for this Islanders squad. Only a point out of a playoff spot, this team has looked a lot better since that night in Philly.

The New York Islanders have benefitted from the emergence of Anthony Beauvillier on the second line. Once the gang of injured Isles gets themselves healthy, and whenever Garth Snow decides to make a move, this team will be running on all cylinders.

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If Cal Clutterbuck can re-emerge as the multi-faceted dynamo he’s been in the past, we could see more than just a playoff appearance out of this team. If the New York Islanders goaltending and defense improves as well, watch out NHL.