For several top forwards on the Vancouver Canucks, a two-point outing wouldn’t be anything worth noting. For instance, Daniel Sedin has five multi-point games under his belt this season. Henrik Sedin has five as well, and his 2013-14 campaign also includes a 12-game point streak.
For David Booth though, a two-point night is an outburst. A revelation. The forward has struggled mightily since coming to the Canucks organization during the 2011-12 season. At that point there was some talk of him being the long-lost missing piece in the top-six. He was supposed to be a jump for the power play, and was even penciled in to play alongside the Sedin twins on occasion.
Fast forward 93 games, and Booth’s career as a Canuck hasn’t exactly gone according to plan.
His tally against the Ottawa Senators broke a 12-game scoring drought, and was his first since being recalled from a conditioning stint in the AHL early in November.
With all the focus on Booth and his trials since moving from the Florida Panthers to Vancouver, it’s to forget that this 29-year-old is capable of producing 20 or 30 goals a season when he’s on his game. That’s been the key operating phrase for the Canucks though, since Booth hasn’t been on his game very often since the trade.
He’s been a lot of things. Booth has been injured and scratched and benched and in the dog house, but he’s rarely been firing on all cylinders. When Booth scored 31 goals as a member of the Panthers he was seeing more than 17 minutes of ice time. That average has fallen off in a big way in Vancouver, and he’s playing just a hair above 13 minutes for the Canucks this year.
Following Vancouver’s 5-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators, the storyline was that the depth guys got it done for the team. Booth was joined by Dale Weise on the score sheet, and Jason Garrison tallied to break a 24-game goaless stretch.
So will this be a moment of awakening for Booth? Can he regain his confidence on the back of one strong performance and finally become what the Canucks thought they were trading for back in 2011? Or will this just be another blip on the radar during Booth’s tenure in Vancouver?
Only time will tell, but Booth is a talented player with a great shot. He’s taking a proactive approach in revitalizing his game and is considering hiring a skating coach to help him work on his foot speed. If Booth can find his game it’ll make the $4.25 million he will earn this season and next look a lot better for Vancouver.