Clutterbuck could ‘probably’ debut for Isles tonight, but won’t


For once, Cal Clutterbuck is playing it safe.

The high-energy forward, known for his relentless (or, as some suggest, reckless) style of play, won’t make his New York Islanders debut on Tuesday against Phoenix, opting to take another game of rest to repair a preseason leg laceration.

“I could probably play today,” Clutterbuck said, as per “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.”

Clutterbuck, 25, suffered a pretty serious cut early in the third period of an exhibition game against Calgary. He immediately left the ice and appeared to be in serious discomfort, didn’t return, and was later ruled out for 4-6 weeks.

His recovery has been speedier than first estimated, though. There’s a good chance he’ll make his regular season debut on Friday in Chicago, and New York could definitely use his presence against the defending Stanley Cup champs.

Clutterbuck, an energetic forward and former junior teammate of Isles captain John Tavares, was brought aboard to add physicality to New York’s forward group and inked four-year, $11 million deal in July, shortly after being acquired from Minnesota in exchange for Nino Niederreiter.

As for where he’ll play? Clutterbuck began training camp on a line with Peter Regin and Michael Grabner, but Grabner is now playing with Frans Nielsen and Josh Bailey while Regin is centering Brock Nelson and Pierre-Marc Bouchard.

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: Bullet dodged?