Sidelined ‘indefinitely’ by ankle sprain, has David Booth played his last game as a Canuck?

Under normal circumstances, I’d say it’s hard not to feel bad for David Booth, what with the terrible luck he’s faced as a Canuck. But as we’ve covered extensively on this website, people really dislike him, be it for his exorbitant contract, his outspoken faith, his affinity for hunting, his lack of production or all of the above. On Monday, when we suggested that the lack of news about Booth was an indication he might be out for the season with an ankle injury (which appears to be the case), one follower responded, “Karma!” as though Booth deserved a season-ending injury. That’s absurd to me, but I don’t think that follower was alone in his thinking.

Still, if you can put aside for a moment the intense dislike that orbits Booth like a small, somewhat unfair, slightly irrational moon, then it’s hard not to feel bad for him. After all, the winger has been plagued by rotten fortune since he was acquired last fall.

First there was the knee-on-knee collision with Colorado’s David Porter, for which Porter missed five games to suspension but Booth missed 18 with an MCL injury. In the 62 games he did play, Booth put up 16 goals for a 20-goal pace, a nice, round number that would have earned him much softer treatment from the Vancouver faithful had he hit it, but thanks to the injury, he didn’t, and hockey fans aren’t in the business of giving credit for projected scoring. The raw fact was that Booth earned $4.2 million for 16 goals. That wasn’t good enough.

His sophomore campaign has been plagued with even more injury trouble. After the lockout (during which Booth did little to ingratiate himself to Canuck fans, filling his timeline with evangelical platitudes and kill shots), Booth strained his groin in the team’s first practice. He missed 15 games.

Then, after returning for 12, Booth sprained his ankle Saturday versus the Detroit Red Wings. According to the Canucks, he’s now out “indefinitely”.

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I Watched This Game: Canucks vs Minnesota Wild, March 18, 2013

I’m not panicking yet. I’m far too level-headed to go off the deep end for a loss in which the Canucks soundly outplayed their opponent for the majority of the game, not even when that loss is their 8th in their last 11 games and puts the Canucks at the edge of the playoff picture in the Western Conference, not when there are still 20 games left to be played in the season. No, I’m not panicking.

But I will admit to being concerned. I’m concerned because I know it’s possible, however unlikely, to flip a coin and have it land on heads 100 times in a row. I know that for all of the underlying possession statistics that indicate the Canucks are better than their record indicates, it’s possible that things never turn around this season.

It’s possible that the next 20 games will be exactly like this one: the Canucks outplaying, out-shooting, and out-chancing their opponent, but not out-scoring them, with the Canucks failing to capitalize on their opponent’s mistakes, and their opponents making the Canucks pay for every mistake they make. In which case, I won’t need to watch those games, because I watched this game.

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