Canucks head coach John Tortorella dropped the biggest bomb of the season (so far) by making winger David Booth a healthy scratch but some of his numbers give an indication why he was in the workout room instead of the ice on Tuesday on Long Island. Booth had a tough season in the lockout-shortened 2013 campaign one that was hampered by injuries that limited him to just 12 games. Booth a player who once scored 31 goals in a full season (2008-09) managed to scored just once – and that was into and empty net – while adding two assists. But if you look at Booth’s attempts on goal (shots and missed shots) they are down dramatically this season in 10 games compared to the previous one’s 12 though he has a similar one goal and two assists. In 2012-13 Booth managed 27 shots on goal and 11 missed shots in those 12 games but in 10 games so far he has produced just 12 shots and four missed. This season so far Booth has also enjoyed 1:21 more ice-time per game this season (14:06) as compared to last (12:45) while doing this. With a new coach who wants a stiffer team with a heavy forecheck Booth’s hits are also down from last season: 24 to nine in two fewer games. These numbers indicate a player who needs to get involved more consistently so it shouldn’t be a surprise that he was Tortorella’s first “motivational scratch.” Especially with a new coach who is clearly not afraid to go react quickly and against prior practice. Booth is clearly capable of playing better – though some believe that 31-goal season was an outlier and raises unreasonable expectations. And of course when you bench a player who makes $4.25 million a season it gets the attention of everybody else in the dressing room as well.
Booth benching shouldn’t be a surprise with Torts at helm
Vancouver Province | Oct 24