The Boys Behind The “Bash Brothers”

Matt Martin was sitting in his locker after Monday’s 7-4 win over the Philadelphia Flyers when a reporter asked him:

“Was that one shift in the third period a statement?” Martin responded,

“Sure it is, nobody is going to push us around, especially in our building.”

That response symbolizes the Bash Brothers. On June 30th, 2013 at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, the New York Islanders traded Nino Niederreiter to the Minnesota Wild for Cal Clutterbuck and a third round pick. It is on this day that the Bash Brothers were formed. Matt Martin and Cal Clutterbuck have combined to lead the league in hits for seven straight years.

This year is no different. Martin is in first and Clutterbuck is in second. These two have been major reasons for why many people consider their line (Martin, Cizikas, Clutterbuck) the best fourth line in hockey. They have even caught the attention of one of hockeys greatest coaches ever, Don Cherry.

Don Cherry said that this could be one of the greatest fourth lines to ever play the game. That is very high praise.

If you ask any of the three players on the fourth line what makes them so successful, they will simply respond by saying that they know what their role is. They understand that they are not John Tavares or Kyle Okposo but that they are put on the ice to be physical and create energy.

This is why after every single goal, either scored by the Islanders or scored against, Jack Capuano almost always puts out that fourth line.

Martin and Clutterbuck are not afraid to drop the gloves either, however, Martin is really the fighter while Clutterbuck is the agitator. They stand up for anyone on this team but they don’t take bad penalties because these two are not looking to fight. They only fight when they need to and that is a big part of their success.

Clutterbuck is known for trash talking the opponent which gets them to take penalties. However, even though Martin is a fighter he only fights when he needs to and that is why Capuano puts his fourth line on the ice in key times. He knows they won’t fail.

This season, the lines offense has come as a bit of a surprise. Clutterbuck has 9 points while Martin has 8. Six of those eight points were goals. These two have offensive skill and the Islanders certainly do not mind their offensive contribution. If the Bash Brothers continue to hit and score the occasional goal, this line could be one of the most feared lines headed into the home stretch and into the playoffs.

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