A Moment of Pure Bulis

It’s a stressful time right now. The Canucks have crashed harder than a college student after an all-nighter and a four-pack of Red Bull. They’re about to miss the playoffs for the first time in six seasons. Fans are calling for heads, but not while flipping coins: they’ve set up a guillotine outside Rogers Arena next to the Roger Neilson statue.

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Canucks send David Booth to the Utica Comets on a conditioning assignment

After missing four games with a groin injury, David Booth is expected to return to the ice sometime in the next week. It won’t be for the Canucks, however, as he has been sent to the Utica Comets on a conditioning assignment.

That runs contrary to what Booth told the media Monday morning, saying he expected to play on the Canucks’ upcoming Pacific Division road trip. That’s likely more a reflection of his health than something he discussed with the team, however. He participated in practice, including battle drills, indicating that his groin is ready for action, which does not mean what you think it means.

I’ve seen some Canucks fans taht are so frustrated by his lack of offensive production that they openly hope his move to Utica is a permanent one, which is a little ridiculous. The issue with Booth is not whether he can contribute to the lineup, but whether he can live up to the expectations created by his contract and past performance.

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Is David Booth ‘not doing enough to play’?

David Booth will be back in the lineup Thursday against the New Jersey Devils after he was a surprise healthy scratch on on Tuesday. Against the Islanders, John Tortorella elected to go with 7 defencemen instead, dressing Andrew Alberts, then only giving him one shift, 37 seconds long. It was seen as an indictment of Booth’s play to start the season. Also seen as an indictment of Booth’s play: Tortorella’s indictment of Booth’s play.

After the game, Tortorella spoke to the gathered media and addressed Booth’s stint in the press box and he didn’t mince words. He was about as frank as The Punisher, saying “He’s not doing enough to play. Plain and simple.”

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Can Jordan Schroeder, Zack Kassian, and David Booth give the Canucks an effective third line?

For all the talk of splitting the Sedins between the Canucks’ top two lines over the past week, the discussion bypasses what has been one of the Canucks’ legitimate issues this season: the third line. The Canucks have a bevy of forwards to parcel out in the top-six, but huge question marks in the bottom six, starting at third-line centre.

Since John Tortorella seems content to leave the fourth line on the bench for the vast majority of the game, the third line is the real issue, with none of the Canucks’ centres taking the reins during the pre-season. The third line through the first five games of the season has been a mish-mash of Brad Richardson, Jannik Hansen, David Booth, Dale Weise, Chris Higgins, and Mike Santorelli, with some of those rotating into the top-six. The various combinations haven’t experienced much success and haven’t stayed together with any consistency.

Over the past two games, however, an intriguing combination has been put together that may solve the problem. With the return of Zack Kassian and Jordan Schroeder to the lineup, the two youngsters have been matched with David Booth to form a third line with the potential to have some staying power.

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Stick in Link: David Booth’s a weird dude; Jason Garrison is furious over lost goal

It’s time for “Stick in Link”, the feature where we just plug in a bunch of stuff written by others! Featuring a smattering of links from around the Smylosphere and beyond every Tuesday and Thursday. Warning: our links are so hyper, they change colour when exposed to heat. (Have something for us to share in the next edition? E-mail us at passittobulis@gmail.com, tweet us @passittobulis, or just come over and write your link on a pad of paper, I guess.)

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David Booth victimizes Daniel Sedin in season’s first interview bomb [VIDEO]

It’s been awhile since we’ve had a quality interview bomb. There was a time, of course, when Ryan Kesler was the undisputed master of it, Keslurking friends and strangers alike with alarming regularity. (This remains my favourite Keslurk. So subtle.) But injury troubles have done more than slow his output over the past two seasons: they’ve also made shenanigans of this sort rare.

Fortunately, Kesler isn’t the only member of the team that can make faces in the background of an interview, and Tuesday night, we got a reminder of that. The first bomb of the year goes to none other than David Booth:

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Spitballin’ on celebration lights, David Booth’s reading habits, and Sami Salo’s injuries

Spitballin’ (or Super Pass It To Bulis: All In, if you love adventurous acronymizing) is a feature that allows us to touch on a multitude of things really fast, because in the world of hockey, there are always lots of things to find and colour. Here are a few quick topics. *** The new Rogers’ Arena “Celebration Lights” look like lightsabers The [...]

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David Booth likely to play, not hunt, rare game Saturday

It’s not often that Mike Gillis shares actual news during his radio appearances, but Thursday morning on the Team 1040, the Canucks’ General Manager stopped by that weird new tangentially sports-related morning show and did just that. Asked about David Booth’s status the day after Booth was made available to the media — a sure sign that he’s nearing a return date — Gillis disclosed by Bro Jake and Dave Pratt that Booth’s first game would likely come quite soon.

“David has been cleared to play, so I think he’s good to go,” Gillis said. “I expect him to play on Saturday.”

John Tortorella echoed the expectation Friday.

And so it begins.

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David Booth’s injury recovery may give Hunter Shinkaruk a shot

The odds are stacked against an 18-year-old making the Canucks roster. First of all, there are just two of them left — Bo Horvat and Hunter Shinkaruk — and second of all, there are limited spots available in the lineup.

Most of the talk heading into this season has been about the third-line centre spot, with Horvat being the long shot among the players up for the role. But there’s one opening that has been less discussed until Monday night, after Shinkaruk impressed with his quick feet in the Canucks’ first preseason game: second line winger.

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Every Goal, 2012-13: The one-goal guys

Here’s how this works at the Every Goal series: score twice in the season and you get your own post. Score just once, however, and you have to endure the shame of being lumped in with all the other singularities from the season that was. This year, that’s a list that includes two former Canucks in Aaron Volpatti and Andrew Ebbett, and two current Canucks in Tom Sestito… and David Booth.

Yes, David Booth, who is being paid a lot of money to score more goals than just one. It’s even worse when you consider that his goal was effectively a pity gift from Max Lapierre, who really shouldn’t be in a position to pity a guy making $4 million a year.

Now, in Booth’s defence, you really can’t have worse luck on the ice. His scoring chances didn’t go, and he battled both a groin strain at the beginning of the season and a season-ending high ankle sprain not long after he finally returned. But even still, let’s hope that sharing a category with Volpatti, Ebbett and Booth is all the motivation he needs to do better next year, because, I mean, seriously.

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Spitballin’ on who’s skating, who isn’t, who signed, who didn’t, and Sedin-inspired hot dogs

Spitballin’ (or Super Pass It To Bulis: All In, if you love adventurous acronymizing) is a feature that allows us to touch on a multitude of things really fast, because in the world of hockey, there are always lots of things to find and colour. Here are a few quick topics. *** Still no movement on Chris Tanev negotiations Last month, we [...]

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Spitballin’ on Dale Weise’s arbitration, David Booth’s wisdom, and Mason Raymond’s future

Spitballin’ (or Super Pass It To Bulis: All In, if you love adventurous acronymizing) is a feature that allows us to touch on a multitude of things really fast, because in the world of hockey, there are always lots of things to find and colour. Here are a few quick topics.

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Spitballin’ on Kassian’s favourite snack, Ballard’s patience, and Booth’s new Twitter account

Spitballin’ (or Super Pass It To Bulis: All In, if you love adventurous acronymizing) is a feature that allows us to touch on a multitude of things really fast, because in the world of hockey, there are always lots of things to find and colour. Here are a few quick topics.

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David Booth tries to manufacture a little luck, gets zinged by his brothers

Considering the rotten luck that David Booth has had since he arrived in Vancouver, be it on the ice in his dismal shooting percentage or the various and sundry injuries that have kept him off the ice for long stretches, you could forgive the right winger for trying to manufacture a little luck this offseason.

Or a lot of luck. Four-leaf clovers are lucky, sure, but David Booth needs more luck than that. He needs at least five leaves. And so, after finding a four-leaf clover, Booth slyly tucked another clover behind it and tried to pass it off on social media as a rare five-leafer.

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David Booth teaches us a new word: ‘nefarious’ [VIDEO]

Canucks fans are all too aware of how David Booth spent the NHL lockout. It was a bone of contention for quite some time, exacerbated by his season-ending injury that cut short any possibility of quieting the controversy with his play on the ice.

But it turns out took a break from enraging liberal-minded Vancouverites in order to enlarge the minds of some teenaged Michiganders. Booth recorded a video for Lutheran High School North, his alma mater in Macomb, Michigan, teaching the students the Word of the Week — “nefarious” — and it’s both horribly awkward and outrageously hilarious.

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Spitballin’ on the Ogopogo, a century-old Aaron Volpatti, and playoff pump-up videos

Spitballin’ (or Super Pass It To Bulis: All In, if you love adventurous acronymizing) is a feature that allows us to touch on a multitude of things really fast, because in the world of hockey, there are always lots of things to find and colour. Here are a few quick topics.

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Spitballin’ on who will play, who won’t play, and who misread the play

Spitballin’ (or Super Pass It To Bulis: All In, if you love adventurous acronymizing) is a feature that allows us to touch on a multitude of things really fast, because in the world of hockey, there are always lots of things to find and colour. Here are a few topics that deserve mention.

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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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On David Booth, expectations, and what it means to be a second-liner in the NHL

David Booth has received his share of criticism from Canucks fans, essentially centred around his lack of production compared to the size of his contract. His start to this season hasn’t helped matters: he has zero goals and just 1 assist in his first 8 games. Considering he’s currently the fourth highest paid forward on the team, it’s understandable why some fans would be upset.

Still, there’s no need to be quite as upset as many are. Given the scoring chances that he has created recently, Booth shouldn’t be goalless for long, and he should start picking up more assists as well, if his chemistry with Zack Kassian over the last few games is any indication.

In addition, I believe that much of the criticism of Booth stems from unrealistic expectations, created by both his contract and a flawed perspective on what it means to be a first line, second line, or third line player in the NHL.

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Big Numbers: Freaky Sedins, Offensive Hamhuis and Identical Goaltenders

Every now and then we like to take a break from all the words and just post some numbers. And some words describing the numbers, as otherwise it would just be a whole bunch of numbers with no context, which would be really weird. Here are some odd and interesting numbers and statistics from the Canucks season so far.

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David Booth returns, Andrew Ebbett returns to the minors

The Canucks are going to be in a very strange and unfamiliar situation on Tuesday: everyone will be healthy. Or, at least, as healthy as they can possibly be this season, considering Manny Malhotra is evidently done. On Sunday night, Alain Vigneault made the announcement that David Booth was cleared to play and would be back in the lineup at some point during the Canucks’ upcoming four-game road trip.

Astonishingly, in the time it took Ryan Kesler and David Booth to return to game action, no one else on the roster suffered a new injury, meaning the Canucks needed to clear a roster spot to reincorporate the shoot-first winger. With Jordan Schroeder playing well, that left three options: Andrew Ebbett, Andrew Alberts, and Cam Barker.

Because the Canucks are committed to keeping both Alberts and Barker in the package, where they’ll be worth more someday, Ebbett was placed on waivers Monday. Like the rest of the Canucks, he’ll be heading to Chicago. Unlike the rest of the Canucks, he’ll be staying there, so long as he doesn’t get picked up by another team.

Let’s take a look at what Booth’s health means for the Canucks (beyond the fact that they’ll be able to play him now).

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Why Jordan Schroeder should fear David Booth’s groin

On Monday, Canuck nation got some bad news, as David Booth missed the second day of the abbreviated post-lockout training camp with a sore groin. Tuesday, the news regarding Booth’s groin got even more grim: not unlike an elusive Albertan mountain goat, Booth killed it. He’ll be out 4-6 weeks with a strained groin.

Thus, if you were already somewhat disillusioned to learn that Andrew Ebbett and Jordan Schroeder would be battling it out to see who centred Mason Raymond and David Booth in the absence of a rehabilitating Ryan Kesler, consider that they’re now battling to see who centres Mason Raymond and… someone.

And frankly, while Booth’s strained groin was bad news for the entire Canucks organization and their fans, I’d argue that it was especially bad for Jordan Schroeder’s chances to win that battle.

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Just as Canuck fans decide he’s necessary, David Booth turns up injured

David Booth isn’t particularly popular among Canucks fans. His twin habits of hunting and tweeting about hunting have not endeared him to Vancouver’s more lovey-dovey population (that is, those who love doves and other assorted animals). Moreover, his conservative Christianity and tendency to express that conservative Christianity publicly were intolerable to those who preach tolerance.

Throughout the lockout, I saw calls for the Canucks to trade him immediately, while others suggested using one of the amnesty buyouts that the new CBA would surely provide to send him packing. The public sentiment appeared to be: Get. Him. Out of here.

Then the lockout ended. Hockey returned. Training camp started. And Booth came down with a groin strain and went in for an MRI on Monday. Suddenly, Booth wasn’t so easily dispensable, as Canucks fans remembered that with both Ryan Kesler and Booth injured, the Canucks are down to having just one-third of a second line.

Without hockey, it was easy to advocate getting rid of a player for non-hockey reasons. As soon as hockey came back, people seemed to remember that Booth is pretty good at it and the Canucks probably want him around.

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Watch 10-year-old David Booth score OT winner at Brick Super Novice Hockey tournament (VIDEO)

Long before he was a Vancouver Canuck or the executioner of the great creatures of myth, David Booth was a child. It’s true. And, like, almost every 10-year-old that goes on to play in the NHL, his superior hockey skillset was on display even then.

As evidence, I submit to you this recently unearthed video of a 10-year-old Booth scoring the overtime winner in the semifinals of the 1994 Brick Super Novice Hockey tournament. That’s him, wearing number 7, just as now, and taking a feed from a young Corey Potter before dangling the opposing netminder into oblivion and sending the adorably-named Detroit Honeybaked on to the tournament final.

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David Booth kills the Forest Spirit, and other creatures of myth

By now, it should be perfectly clear that David Booth doesn’t care what you think. Well, he sort of does. I mean, the other day, he sullenly tweeted, “Every time I tweet I lose followers”, but when several responses explaining the phenomenon came back to him — stop tweeting photos of things you done killed, bro — he chose not to change his spots, like a leopard (and then he probably killed a leopard).

On Thursday, Booth successfully ended the life of yet another beast and saw fit to share it with his squeamish audience. That’s what you’re looking at above.

But what the heck is what you’re looking at? As Roberto Luongo tweeted in response, “Ok NOW you are just making up animals no?” Is that a goat of some kind? A four-legged Appalachian Fearsquatch, as Justin Bourne suggested? The Forest Spirit from Princess Mononoke?

The species of the dead thing above may be unclear, but one thing does seem clear: with so much time on his hands, David Booth has grown weary of hunting things that exist and crossed over in the realms of lore. “There’s only one trophy in the world harder to get than this… And I’m getting that next,” said Booth, ominously. Lock up your fictional characters, people, because David Booth will be trying to kill them for as long as the lockout endures. What follows is a preview of what we can expect Booth to tweet in the months to come:

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