The Wild once again surprised me managing to win another game against a playoff team in the San Jose Sharks. Maybe I was a little premature in writing them off from making the playoffs. They are a long way off from being in 8th (5 points the last time I checked) but it can be done.
But today I really want to focus on something other than the Wild winning. I want to talk a little about my favorite hockey player in the whole world who isn’t a goalie. This forward can do it all. He can score, he can stick handle with the puck, he can play with finesse and most of all he leaves a pile of bodies in his wake where ever he goes. The man I speak of is none other than the hit king himself, Cal Clutterbuck.
Clutterbuck is one of those player that other teams hate because he gets under their skin like no one else can and he can trick you with a quick shot that ends up in the back of the net. For a guy who only stands 5′ 11″ without skates and who weighs just 213 pounds, he can really lay out some real pain when he comes out of nowhere to smash opposing players into the boards or make a brutal open ice hit. And he does it all without getting a ton of penalties like many other aggressive, body-smashers around the league do. Besides that, he is a wiz kid when it comes to getting short handed goals. He has 4 so far this season which is first in the league.
This kid, who is only 24 by the way, can just about do it all. He might not light up the score sheet, but he is the type of player any coach wants on their team. He bring a certain energy to the locker room and to the bench any time he lays out a bone-crushing hit the leaves the opposing player limping to the bench in pain.
I felt like it was time to give Clutterbuck some much needed props given he scored one of the nicest coast to coast (end to end) goals I have seen in a while. After picking up the puck in his own zone, he looped around behind goalie Nik Backstrom and flew up the boards. No one even came close to him until he hit the Sharks blue-line where he did a nifty to drag with his skate, kicking the puck back to his stick where he deftly pulled the trigger on one of his patented seeing-eye snap shots the blew past goalie Thomas Greiss on the far side. It was such a nice goal that ESPN even gave Clutterbuck credit by putting him at #10 on their Top Ten from all the games played yesterday.
Like I said before, there isn’t enough words to describe what Cal Clutterbuck means to the Wild as a checking forward and as a goal scorer when they need him. He is just a beast who never gives up. He plays hard even when he can barely skate. If I had to pick someone to start a team around, Clutterbuck would be my man. Hopefully he can work some magic and keep the Wild pushing for a spot in the playoffs.
That’s all for now,