When the New York Islanders made the trade for him on draft day, they knew what kind of hockey player they were getting.
They brought Cal Clutterbuck on board for a number of reasons, the biggest one being his physical style of play. He was the hit king of the NHL, leading the league in hits from 2008-2011, finally losing the title to current teammate Matt Martin. The injury to Clutterbuck in training camp kept him out of the lineup for the first three games of the season. It took a while for Clutterbuck to get back into game shape, but he has been a force to be reckoned with since.
In his first game in front of the home crowd last Tuesday night, the 25-year-old wing was at his best — throwing big, clean hits (with a team-high of eight), getting the opposition riled up and drawing a couple penalties in the process. With Clutterbuck and Martin playing together, they were throwing their weight around at every possible chance they could.
This, of course, got the Coliseum crowd got into the game.
That’s what the Islanders wanted from him all along. That’s why they made that trade with the Minnesota Wild on draft day to pick him up. The Islanders knew exactly what they wanted when they traded for Clutterbuck. The injury he suffered in training camp threw him off his game. It took Clutterbuck a little while to get his game back after the injury.
Tuesday’s game was Clutterbuck’s coming-out party with the Islanders. It was his way of saying, “I’m back, I’m healthy, so watch out!”
Clutterbuck is second on the Islanders with 11 hits, behind team leader Martin, who has 24.