Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 10/30/11
Minnesota Wild forward Cal Clutterbuck has been a fan favorite from the start in Minnesota. He burst on to the scene back in 2008, setting an NHL record in his rookie season with 356 hits.He followed that up with an NHL-leading 318 hits in 2009-10 before racking up an NHL-leading 336 hits last season. If you're really good at math, you already know that's an amazing 1,010 hits in the last three seasons. Last year, he added a new dimension by scoring a career-high 19 goals. Wild head coach Mike Yeo spoke earlier this week about Clutterbuck's versatility and how important he is to the team."The great thing about Cal is he is a perfect fit on a checking line because he brings energy and that great physical intensity," Yeo said. "But the bonus comes from the fact that he knows how to shoot the puck and is a good enough skater to keep up with our top line, too." Against Anaheim last week, Clutterbuck was promoted to the Wild's top line and top power-play unit. The Wild scored a pair of power-play goals to end a 0for 22 slump in that area with Clutterbuck standing in front of the net, setting up a screen and taking a physical pounding most of the night. Off the ice, the guy they call "Clutter" is more than a fan favorite; he is also a prankster and beloved teammate in the Wild locker room. He also is the subject of this edition of 5 Questions. 1. KG: Which NHL player did you idolize when you were growing up? CLUTTERBUCK: The guy I most looked up to was Colorado forward Joe Sakic, even though I have a completely different skill set and mindset on the ice. He was one of those players that seemed to rise to the occasion in big games, and he was such a good leader. I will never be the playmaker that Sakic was, but I want to be as dependable as he was to his team and be a good leader like he was, too. 2. KG: What is your gameday routine like? CLUTTERBUCK: I really enjoy the morning skate that we have. It's good to get up and get moving and start thinking about the job you have ahead that night. After skate I like to have a bowl of pasta with chicken. Then, like most players, I like to take a nap for about two hours to rest up for the game. After that, it's off to the rink to get my sticks taped up and get focused on the opponent for that night. 3. KG: Which of your teammates has the best sense of humor? CLUTTERBUCK: There are plenty of great choices on this team, but I will have to say Brad Staubitz. He is the kind of guy that is always up to something, and he can bring the house down with some of his stories. The cool thing about Stauby is he is lighthearted in here (locker room), but on the ice, he is a beast. 4. KG: What is your favorite road city to play in? CLUTTERBUCK: Probably going to play in Montreal. First off, the fans are amazing -- it is really loud in there and they really know the game. The city is fantastic, so you can find some really cool places to eat. There is such a great history up there in Montreal, so it's a great city to walk around and check out if you have a day off in between games. 5. KG: What is your favorite thing to do in the offseason? CLUTTERBUCK: I love going back home to Welland, Ontario, and hanging out with family and friends. The NHL season can be a long grind, so it's nice to get away when it's over and reconnect with people. When I'm there, I also love to go golfing. It can be a little frustrating, but overall it's the perfect game for me when I'm not playing hockey.
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