Islanders Need Cal Clutterbuck To Bounce Back In 2021
By Matt O'Leary
The Islanders need Cal Clutterbuck to return to form in the 2021 season after a step back in this injury-plagued 2020 campaign.
In 2019-2020, Cal Clutterbuck had his Islanders season derailed by injuries. On December 19, Clutterbuck took a skate to the wrist in a scary freak injury that kept him out for over two months. Once he returned in February, he was banged up again with an undisclosed injury before the shutdown.
Unfortunately for Cal, even when on the ice he wasn’t himself. He had just seven points in 37 games played which is a pace of 16 points. That would’ve been tied for his lowest point total since joining the Islanders.
Even in the playoffs, Clutter was banged up as he was a game-time decision in Game 2 of the Tampa series and even missed a game in the earlier rounds. Playing in 21 playoff games, he had four points (2 goals, 2 assists) with 92 hits.
When you combine his regular season and playoffs, he played in 58 games with 11 points to his name. That’s well off the pace the Cal Clutterbuck is expected to produce at his $3.5 million cap hit.
Now, I’m not asking Clutterbuck to score 15 goals in a season again or push 30 points but giving the Islanders close to 10 goals and 20-25 points should be the expectation for him. To his credit, his hits numbers were trending up after they began to slip over the past three years.
He’s most effective when he is throwing himself around like a battering ram and getting the Islanders opponents agitated. I’d also like to see him shoot the puck a bit more.
During the regular season, he had just 35 shots over his 37 games. With his wrist shot, that number has to be over one per game and he’d be better suited if he’s up around that 110 shot pace in a season.
We know how good that fourth line can be when they’re all healthy and firing on all cylinders. Assuming they can do that this year, the Islanders should be in good shape but they are definitely going to need at least 65 games of Clutterbuck and a better effort in the offensive end.