Islanders’ Cal Clutterbuck out for season, Scott Mayfield could be too

The self-correction, from Jean-Gabriel Pageau on Thursday morning, was as revealing as the rest. 

“We’ve been through a lot of adversity throughout the years,” the Islanders’ heart mentioned. “Sorry, throughout the year, so far.” 

That would be appropriate. And as if the Islanders wanted one more factor to go incorrect for them this late in a misplaced season, they received extra unhealthy information on Thursday. Cal Clutterbuck, who signed a two-year extension on Monday, will miss the remainder of the season with a shoulder damage that requires surgical procedure. Scott Mayfield, considered one of two gamers on the staff to not miss a sport this season, will be out 4 to 6 weeks with a lower-body damage, presumably sustained from blocking a shot late in Tuesday’s 3-0 win over the Senators. 

According to move coach Barry Trotz, the Islanders don’t plan to name anybody up from AHL Bridgeport to take these spots. Trotz additionally mentioned that Clutterbuck ought to be prepared for coaching camp and demurred when requested if Mayfield could return for the tail finish of the season. 

Cal Clutterbuck injury
Cal Clutterbuck
NHLI through Getty Images

The Islanders started Thursday 17 factors again of the final playoff spot within the East, effectively out of the race, and shedding two of their most dependable items and penalty-killers to prime off a season marred from the start with a inordinately lengthy street journey, COVID-19 outbreak and scheduling inconsistencies feels just a little bit just like the knockout punch. 

“We’re kinda used to that feeling, guys going down whether it was injuries or COVID,” Pageau mentioned. “It’s never fun. They’re key players for us. They’re both players that bring physical aspects to our game, which is in our game plan every night.” 

The lineup ramifications, at the very least for now, appear to be that Sebastian Aho will be an on a regular basis starter within the prime six, with Kieffer Bellows and Ross Johnston splitting time on the fourth line. If the Islanders finally select to name up a defenseman, they’ve just a few choices in Bridgeport, with Robin Salo being the most important potential identify. 

Right now, although, the spot seems like Aho’s to lose. The 26-year-old had 9 factors in 25 video games going into Thursday, however frequent defensive lapses — corresponding to a turnover deep in his personal zone that led to the Flyers scoring on Sunday — have hindered his means to remain within the lineup. 

The scenario quantities to an intriguing likelihood for Bellows, who can have an opportunity to assist drive offense on a heavy, checking fourth line when he will get in. With 13 factors in 32 video games to this point, the 23-year-old will be trying for an opportunity to stay within the lineup. 

Scott Mayfield injury
Scott Mayfield
Getty Images

“He’s gonna have to bring the energy, some of that energy,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz mentioned. “If you think about that line, you got [Matt Martin] and Casey [Cizikas], Marty’s physical, Casey sorta drives that line cause he’s got an edge. And you need that abrasiveness and a little bit of that goal scoring or skill element.” 

The penalty kill, considered one of few components which have gone based on plan for the Islanders this season, will be severely affected as effectively. Clutterbuck and Mayfield each eat up minutes at four-on-five, with their bodily video games becoming completely on the primary unit. 

Trotz mentioned that Noah Dobson — who performed penalty-kill minutes at junior ranges — will possible take Mayfield’s spot. Clutterbuck’s could be extra of a rotating solid, with Brock Nelson, Anthony Beauvillier, Josh Bailey and Kyle Palmieri all potential choices. 

Trotz tried to maintain an upbeat look in regards to the scenario, calling it an opportunity to develop different gamers and saying he needs to maintain a next-man-up mentality intact. But it’s exhausting to bop across the fundamental details of the scenario. 

It has been a brutal season for the Islanders. And it seems prefer it’s going to have a brutal finish.

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