NHL.com is reporting that the New York Islanders intend to sit the former Minnesota Wild right winger when the Islanders swing open the doors to the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale tonight to go head-to-head with the Phoenix Coyotes.
During the preseason, Clutterbuck was sidelined after suffering a lacerated leg during a matchup with the Calgary Flames on September 17th.
He was originally expected to miss 4-6 weeks due to the injury, but based on reports, he could be returning as early as Friday when the Islanders travel to the United Center in Chicago when they faceoff with the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks.
“I could probably play today,” Clutterbuck said. “But I think just in talking it over with the medical staff and the coaches, it’s just probably better that I be more prudent at this point. I’ve lost two games, three tonight. In the grand of scheme of things, 82 games plus playoffs, I think it’s maybe a little bit smarter to miss an extra one versus missing some more down the road.” ~ NHL.com
Islanders head coach Jack Capuano said that while he is anxious to have Clutterbuck back in the lineup, he wants to ensure that he is 100% before they make that move.
“For the injury that he sustained and as quickly as he’s come back, we don’t play again until Friday, so this is a perfect opportunity for us for these few days to continue to work on his conditioning,” Capuano said. “Obviously, he wants to play. But as serious as that was and as quick as he’s healed, we want to make sure that we do the right things too. We feel it’s best to give him a little extra time and get him ready for the weekend.” ~ NHL.com
The Islanders are currently 1-0-1 heading into this game after dropping 1 to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday in a shootout.
It will be interesting to see what kind of an impact Clutterbuck will have when he hits the ice for the first time in regulation this season. Could he be just what the Islanders need in order to break away from the pack this season? I guess we’ll all just have to wait and see.