At some point prior to last season, we at Pass it to Bulis pointed to David Booth as the key to the Canucks’ season. We were mocked. But we would like to point out that Booth had a pretty poor season, which, in the end, mirrored the Canucks season. So I’d say we were right. Who’s the man now, dog?
Booth was bought out at the end of the year, a move that we didn’t particularly agree with, but we can understand. The guy was one of Mike Gillis’s most divisive acquisitions, and with the new regime attempting to do away with all things Gillis in the hopes of selling their “change is coming” mantra, Booth had to go. Now he’s a Maple Leaf, like Mason Raymond before him, as Toronto continues in their bid to embarrass Vancouver as revenge for that weird half-season of Mats Sundin.
Anyway. Before we wipe Booth from our memory forever, always ruing the 20-goal season he never delivered, let’s take a moment to remember how he nearly got halfway there in 2013-14, finding the back of the net nine times. Here’s every goal the ex-Canuck scored last season.
Booth scores his first of the season the old-fashioned way. No, not by picking up the puck and throwing it into the net (although that has happened before), but by redirecting a point shot while planted in front of the goal. Or just to the side of it in this case, as Jason Garrison unloads a shot from the blueline and Booth lifts a leg like a dog at a hydrant and then serves up a tip that would make Nic Cage and Bridget Fonda proud.
“I’ve got an idea,” says John Shorthouse. “I don’t want to ruin the surprise. Booth scores!” And it is a surprise, since it’s been almost two months since Booth last did this. Injuries, of course. This goal showcases Booth’s propensity for firing from the wall, and it works this time, thanks to some shoddy guesswork by the Senators, who think the puck’s coming down the boards and head there before it does. With a bunch of space, Booth instead spins off the wall, and thanks to Mike Santorelli’s great work blocking the defender and screening the goalie, he’s got room and a good shooting lane.
Here begins a common trend: Booth tantalizes us with goals in back-to-back games, hinting that he might be about to go on a tear, and then things get quiet. But before we grumble about yet another long, goalless span, let’s appreciate one of the prettiest goals the Canucks scored all year, courtesy Booth, Dale Weise, and Mike Santorelli. Booth starts the play, firing up to Weise at the Rangers’ blueline, then streaming into the New York end after him. Weise gives him the puck, and Booth gives it right back and heads to the net. This time, Booth hits Santorelli, who makes a touch pass to Booth once again, and Booth drags it around Cam Talbot for the goal. If this wasn’t the Canucks’ lone goal in a blowout, I think people would have appreciated it more. Kevin Bieksa sure appreciated it — to ensure that Cam Talbot felt the disappointment of losing his shutout, Bieksa punches him as he goes by.
One of Booth’s nicest goals as a Canuck comes with the added context of being scored against the hated Boston Bruins. We like guys who score on the Bruins ’round these parts. This goal comes just after a timeout from John Tortorella, who basically told his team to “stop sucking” and “starting playing hockey, like, good”. Booth was inspired by this simple message, and scored a lovely one, streaking into the Boston end with a head of steam, and then blowing off that steam with a brilliant shot.
Booth scores this goal, once again doing the thing where he scores in back-to-back games before going quiet forever, but it’s Mike Santorelli who makes the play. After Booth attempts to cut into the middle and is stopped, Santorelli hauls in the puck, then makes a gorgeous move to get away from his man before turning back and finding Yannick Weber for a one-timer. Weber’s shot is stopped, but Booth is there to snipe the loose puck like he’d been sitting in a tree waiting for it.
Whatever about David Booth. Let’s talk about Zack Kassian, who makes this play happen with one of those tantalizing power forward moments he has on occasion. Good Lord, this is some rush. Kassian’s been criticized at times for his zone exits, which aren’t particularly strong, but man alive if this isn’t the strongest zone exit he’s ever produced, streaming out of the defensive end, practically throwing Henrik Tallinder off stride to create a 2-on-1, then feeding Booth for the easy tally. Kudos to Booth for not screwing it up, I guess. It would have sucked for this not to be a highlight.
Hark! It’s a David Booth goal the game after his last one! What’s more, this time he scores two in the same game. His first demonstrates once again what he showed us in the Boston goal: when he’s on, he’s freaking fast, and he’s got a great shot. Here, he catches the Wild flat-footed, poking the puck into the neutral zone, going around a man to skate onto it first, then putting it through two guys, one of whom is the goaltender. Frankly, if I’m a Leafs fan and I see this clip, I get excited. This was Booth near the end of the season, after he’d done some work to get his skating back to where he wanted it and claimed to be finally feeling healthy.
Here’s something Booth didn’t get much of during his tenure with the Canucks: dumb luck. This puck looks like it’s coming out of the zone, but that’s before Charlie Coyle bobbles it right to Booth, who has it for about a half-second before he puts it in the back of the net. Looking at these clips, it occurs to me how great Booth’s wrist shot looks when you watch his goals all in a row. The guy can really fire the puck.
Booth scores his last goal as a Canuck while demonstrating his other major asset: his strength. Planted in front of the net, he fights off Colorado’s no. 7, John Mitchell, to get to a rebound after a point shot. He fans on the shot, but by the time he tries for it, he’s got Mitchell all turned around, giving him time for a second attempt. This time, he goes upstairs like a teenage girl in a horror movie.Tags: david booth, Every Goal