Struggling Vancouver Canucks winger David Booth was in coach John Tortorella's doghouse Tuesday — and out of his lineup — and it came as no surprise to anyone who has seen him skate lately.

Despite a three-game conditioning stint in the American Hockey League, Booth has been unable to regain the stride and explosiveness that once made him a bonafide power forward in the NHL. It appears that knee, ankle and groin injuries have caught up to him and he can no longer win puck races or beat people with speed. His play has been tentative and he has made no impact on most nights. Even he concedes that.

“My explosiveness isn't where it was in the past,” said Booth, who was scheduled to miss suiting up against his old team, the Florida Panthers, on Tuesday. “That extra step, that's really the strength in my game. Without a doubt I can get it back. I've had other leg injuries and it comes back with time. It's just been a little bit longer this time than in the past.

“Obviously I would have really liked to play (Tuesday). It's a game that I was looking forward to at the start of the year. It shows that you can look forward to things and then things happen.”

Booth is an expensive healthy scratch. His salary for 2013-14 is $4.5 million and his cap hit is $4.25 million. He has another season remaining on a six-year deal he signed with the Panthers back in 2009. He understands, for the money he makes, that expectations are high and that one goal this season — and one empty-netter last season — aren't good enough.

It's hard to imagine the Canucks not buying him out next summer if this continues.

“No one holds me to a higher expectation than myself,” said Booth, who turns 29 on Sunday. “To whom much is given, much is required and that's a biblical principle and one that's always stuck with me. I understand that I've been given much and obviously much is expected. I know that I could be better. I know that I have to score.

“The hesitation ... you just have to overcome it. Right now, I don't want to takes chances on the offensive side of the puck. If I did, maybe I will get a break but I'll also give up something and I can't give up any chances defensively. I'll take this time to just work on my strength and my explosiveness.”