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Islanders vs. Red Wings: Life without Clutterbuck, Mayfield [Game #62]

Two injuries put a different spin on the fourth quarter of the season.

NHL: MAR 25 Islanders at Bruins
Hockey is a dangerous sport.
Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The New York Islanders host the Detroit Red Wings at the start of a lengthy spell without two regulars: The club announced today that they’ll be without Cal Clutterbuck (shoulder surgery) for the rest of the season and Scott Mayfield (shot-block fracture) for 4-6 weeks, or practically the rest of the season.

For day-to-day impact, those are not insignificant losses for different reasons — Clutterbuck features on the Identity Line, Mayfield is a key penalty killer — and also open up interesting opportunities.

Of course, the Islanders just re-signed the would-be UFA Clutterbuck for two more years, so seeing how others perform in his slot is more of a “‘cause stuff happens” exercise rather than a way to identify his replacement.

Mayfield, who is signed to a very affordable contract, is one of those guys who is sometimes mentioned in trade speculation just because some kind of churn is to be expected over the next couple seasons, if not next season. He’s played in all 61 games this season and in all 56 games in the Covid-shortened 2020-21 season.

Anyway, we’ll what shakes out over the next little while as they fill these holes.

Meanwhile, tonight Islanders Country welcomes back Thomas Greiss, who is expected in net for the visitors. Both teams are out of the race, so that reunion should provide some extra human-interest theater.