The Vancouver Canucks are going into the last game of a successful 7 game road trip tonight in St. Louis. At the end of this trip I can say there are 3 topics that have jumped out at me; the return of Alexandre Burrows is close, the benching of David Booth and why bother dressing a 4th line.
Alex Burrows is the good news in this article as he is set to return from his early season injury. The question of where you slot him into the lineup is about to become a reality. Burrows, traditionally, has been the other forward playing with Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin, a spot currently occupied by a high performing Ryan Kesler. The easy, ease him back into the lineup, spot is the open position recently vacated due to the injury to Jannik Hansen. However, regardless where you put Burrows, he will be an added weapon for the team to utilize and a addition that bolsters the lineup.
David Booth on the other hand is the ugly surrounding this article. The season isn’t even a quarter of the way through and you are being replaced in the forward lineup with a defenseman. David Booth has been a disappointment since joining the Canucks and he has been given a lot of excuses for his underperformance thus far. Whether he hasn’t excelled because of joining the team too late in the season to gain chemistry, not ideal for the style of play, injuries and the list grows depending on who you talk to. It is not hard to see that John Tortorella isn’t going to accept the lack of effort, understanding of his poor performances this season or accept excuses, thankfully. Booth will have limited, at best, trade value for those paying attention around the league but if he can’t get a fire lit under him in the next month I would be shopping him aggressively for a prospect, draft pick or a third/fourth line player with some desire to compete.
The equivalent of the bad in this article is, why bother dressing a 4th line with this current team. Thanks to injuries, lack of forwards to pull up from the minors and lackluster play from Booth, the Canucks are dressing a 4th line of forwards that never see the ice. Tortorella is known for riding his star players but even if he wasn’t, I don’t know many coaches that would be excited to put a line on the ice made up of Dale Weise, Tom Sestito and Andrew Alberts. Granted they all have their place on the team and contribute where they are needed but if the Canucks were dressing their full squad it would likely mean two of them are in the press box.