Clarkson on drought: ‘I wasn’t brought here to score 50 goals’

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Toronto Maple Leafs forward David Clarkson was suspended for the first 10 games of the season because he left the bench during a preseason contest to participate in a fight. He’s played in 10 contests since returning and hasn’t scored a single goal.

Not exactly an ideal start to his tenure with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“I wasn’t brought here to score 50 goals,” Clarskon told TSN. “I was brought here for that full game that I bring, competing every night.”

Certainly, a big part of Clarskon’s appeal comes from the fact that he plays a complete game, but complete is the key word there. You don’t sign a player that brings heart and grit alone to a seven-year, $36.75 million contract. The 29-year-old’s goal-scoring touch is just one facet of his game, but it had to have been a meaningful factor when his value was determined over the summer.

That being said, goal scorers can be streaky and the sample size is still small.

“We think that David Clarkson has got a lot to offer to our hockey club and he’s had his fair share of chances,” said coach Randy Carlyle. “He’s a little bit snake-bitten, but if he continues to go to the net the way he’s been going and we continue to drive that middle lane and get pucks directed around him he’ll score some goals for us. We believe that.”

Perhaps he’ll catch a break tonight against the New York Islanders.