The annual Every Goal series will run Monday to Thursday through July and August, remembering every goal scored by the Canucks, player by player. Today, we look at David “Open-mouth kissing” Booth.
David Booth wasn’t what Canuck fans expected him to be. He was billed as a power forward of sorts, as well as a linemate for Ryan Kesler, and neither of these things appeared to be quite true after a good long look at the guy. Also he was being paid $4.2 million and only scored 16 goals. Also he killed a bear. For these reasons, he was viewed as a disappointment.
But it’s not that cut and cry. Booth may not have looked like Ryan Kesler’s lifelong twin, but the two drove possession like gangbusters when they were on the ice together. He may not have established himself as a prototypical power forward, but those are basically leprechauns, and Booth was hardly a weakling around the goal. Furthermore, he may have only scored 16 goals as a Canuck, but he only played 56 games. That’s a 23-goal pace, which is decent for a second-liner.
In short, while Booth wasn’t what we thought he was, he was still quite effective, and there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about Booth’s second full season in Vancouver. Here are 16.
Booth was still working on developing chemistry with his teammates when he scored his first as a Canuck. Kevin Bieksa gains the zone, then burns through the middle of the ice, only to collide briefly with Booth, who isn’t quite sure where he’s supposed to be. The two separate, with Bieksa heading to the top of the zone and Booth heading down low. Both defenders follow Bieksa. (Makes sense: he’s not colliding with teammates.) This leaves Cody Hodgson alone in the corner, where Higgins finds him. Hodgson gets it to Booth, who bangs it home on the rebound to put the Canucks on the board.
Booth doesn’t even have to worry about zone entries on his second. He never even crosses the blue line for this empty-netter, sealing a game versus the Islanders. Nice work by Cody Hodgson to create the turnover in the neutral zone that leads to the goal.
Booth hardly moves on this one, sniffing around the goal like a bear investigating a mysterious barrel of sweets while Chris Higgins works to set up the point shot. (See what I did there?) Booth is also an easy target for Kesler, who chases a loose puck behind the goal and throws a no-look backhand pass to his linemate for a tap-in at the goal line.
Here we see a move that Canuck fans — and also opposing defenders — grew quite used to in Booth’s first season in Vancouver, as Booth barrels down the right wing, then comes to a hard stop along the wall and fires a low percentage shot at the goal. It doesn’t work, but Dan Hamhuis throws the puck right back into traffic, and Booth manages to sneak it past Curtis Sanford at the side of the goal.
Booth’s other go-to move, if he felt like changing things up was to continue hard around the net and try for the wrap-around. It’s a play you don’t see often anymore because it rarely works, but when the goaltender is standing around like a dope, as Henrik Karlsson is on this one, it’ll work just fine. This goal is likely evidence of why Miikka Kiprusoff plays 81.5 games a season.
Jannik Hansen remains an underrated passer, and this goal is a good indication of what he can do when he has a) half a mind to, and b) room. Credit on the room goes to Cody Hodgson, who makes a nice little pick in the corner to free Hansen up on the forehand. Once freed, Hansen sets Booth up on the doorstep like he’s a flaming bag of dog doo.
Chris Higgins is hockey’s Charlie Hustle (minus the gambling), and this goal is a product of his effort level. After Ryan Kesler’s shot is kicked out by Antti Niemi, Higgins simply overtakes Benn Ferriero to gain possession of the puck. He banks a pass off the boards to Alex Edler, who tees one up, and Booth deflects it up and over Niemi for the goal.
Have we noticed a pattern yet with our friend Mr. Booth? The man is quite effective at the side of the goal, even when he’s wearing a defender like a cheap fur, as he is on this goal. With Taylor Hall draped all over him, Booth fights off the Oiler winger and forces the puck into the goal for his eighth.Tags: david booth, Every Goal, every goal 2011-12