Reporting Eric Nelson
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota Wild forward Cal Clutterbuck has morphed into a multi-talented player. Besides doling out his patented punishing hits, Clutterbuck is now an offensive dynamo who’s the Wild’s leading goal scorer this season.
“Just more confident all around I think. Just getting the opportunities and really focusing in and bearing down, putting the puck where I want to,” said Clutterbuck.
It’s really no surprise that Clutterbucks’ starting to score goals. He’s got a booming shot and it was only a matter of time that the puck was going to go into the net with frequency.
“The big focus this year, at least in talking to him, was just getting more shots on net because he has the ability to put it through … because he shoots it so hard,” said Todd Richards, the coach for the Minnesota Wild.
Clutterbuck suddenly has that goal-scoring knack and it comes just in time for the Wild as they try to make a playoff push.
“You see him in practice, and he’s got one of the hardest shots … fast release and pretty lethal shots so it’s definitely not a surprise,” said Kyle Brodziak, a Wild Center.
Clutterbuck is just 23 years old and still has plenty of upside. He remains the NHL’s top hit man, a guy who plays a physical style of hockey every game.
“I don’t feel like I’m into the game unless I’m being physical and that’s not going to change,” said Clutterbuck.
“His big game is always his physical play, going to the net and finishing checks. If he continues to do that he creates the turnovers and gives himself more opportunities to finish and score goals,” said Richards.