Saturday, November 5, 2011

Booth and the Twins?

Alex Burrows looked great on a line with Chris Higgins and Ryan Kesler in last night's loss in St.Louis.  It was a real kick in the teeth for Canucks fans to finally see some chemistry forming on a line that doesn't feature a Sedin only to have it taken away when Burrows left the game with back spasms resulting from a collision with Blues' power forward Chris Stewart.  After the innitial sting of losing a heart and soul player like Burr wore off I realized this might be a blessing in disguise.  Jannik Hansen didn't perform well in Burrows usual spot on the wing with the twins.  The lineup shuffle had demoted David Booth to third line duty, but with Hansen continuing to underperform AV might be forced to play the 4.25 million dollar man on the top line with the Twins in Sunday's grudge-match with the Hawks and it might just be the fit they've been looking for.

Booth has 20 hits this year, good for fourth amongst Canucks forwards.  His speed and forecheck bare a resemblence to Burr's, and he is expected to play top-six minutes.  It isn't ever going to work out with Ryan Kesler on the second line, and when Burr is back and healthy he should experience continued success with Kess and Higgins.  Without Burr getting injured it's questionable whether AV would have ever played Booth with the twins but now is his chance, he's got nothing to lose and no better option.

Booth's offensive statistics since joining the Canucks aren't great.  He has no goals and is a minus-3 in six games.  He's well aware of the pressures that come with playing in a Canadian hockey market, so much so that he even engaged in fist-to-cuffs with veteran tough guy Scott Nichol last night, respectably scoring the take down.  It's in the Canucks best interests to find him some chemistry and fast before his grace period with the rabid Canuck fanbase is up.  The tolerance of Canuck supporters for high priced talent eating up valuable cap space and not fitting in with the team make-up is all but worn thin after the Keith Ballard acquisition.  It's time the Canucks invested some money in a good fit and Booth has the potential to rejoin the 30 goal ranks if they can find a place to play him.  He isn't going to live up to the price tag fighting fourth liners and playing third line minutes.

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