October 22 2013 02:55PM
Look at that strapping young man.
It feels like it has been forever since the Canucks were in Long Island, but apparently their last visit was on January 11th, 2011, so I guess the photo above is just a teensy weensy bit older than that. The Canucks will be playing the 4th game of their 7-game roadtrip, and they're coming off of a rather forgettable loss to the Blue Jackets. Fortunately for them they're probably catching a depleted New York Islanders squad at just the right time, as they'll be without a few important pieces in this one.
Read on past the jump for a preview of tonight's game against the soon-to-be Brooklyn Professional Hockey Team.
Puck Drop: 4 PM PST
TV: Rogers Sportsnet Pacific
Wow. That's quite the bombshell. Jason Botchford suggested today that he could be the odd man out once Alex Burrows gets back (more on this below). I guess it shouldn't be a huge surprise given that Booth has generated just 1 goal (and only 12 shots on goal, which is the most surprising thing of all) through 10 games. He also played a season low 10:18 against Columbus on Sunday, and his ice-time has been steadily dropping since the start of the season. But still.
So what does this move mean? With Booth sitting it out, one of Andrew Alberts or Yannick Weber (more likely) will draw back into the lineup and play wing on the 4th line with Sestito and Welsh. I assume that means that Dale Weise will then move back up to the 3rd line to play alongside Zack Kassian and Brad Richardson.
If you think this makes the Canucks a better team then I don't know what to tell you. Except that it doesn't. But chances are that you're stuck in your beliefs and there's no changing your mind. It's kind of unfortunate that a significant chunk of the team's fanbase will be thrilled by this news, because they seem to genuinely despise Booth for the person he is, and because of his contract (which was inherited by the Canucks, by the way).
The debate about the merits of David Booth the hockey player seems so fruitless; I'll try to point out to you that he does useful things like provide defensive value by maintaining possession of the puck and drawing penalties at a good rate, while you'll remain adamant that you think he's the worst. There's no real winners, and ultimately all that happens is that a bunch of time is wasted. So let's go our separate ways on that one.
This is probably just a wake-up call of sorts by Tortorella. We'll surely see Booth back in the lineup on Thursday against the Devils, but it's stupid that it has even come to this.
According to Daily Faceoff this is what we can expect from the Islanders tonight:
I mentioned that this was a good time to catch the Islanders, and that's because they'll be without Lubo Visnovsky (injury), and Michael Grabner (suspension). As a result there's probably some guys listed above that you've probably never heard of. I expected them to take another step this season after finishing last year on a torrid pace (and pushing the Penguins in the 1st round of the playoffs), but they've really struggled in the early going. In fact, they've been a bottom 6 or 7 team in terms of possession this year which is kind of surprising. It doesn't help that their goaltender is Evgeni Nabokov, who is rather stinky (could've used a much worse word, trust me..). It's a shame that their ownership group is so cheap because a goalie like oh, say, Roberto Luongo would look mighty nice behind their group of players. But I digress.
I'm really excited to get to see John Tavares who has quickly become one of the best players in the league. It's days like this that I'm thankful for the NHL's realignment. In case you aren't totally aware of how badass JT is, check this out.
Let's end with some positive news..
Alex burrows joins Canucks for tail end of morning skate and works after it with booth and eddie lack— Jason Botchford (@botchford) October 22, 2013
|Fenwick Tied %||53.5%||46.5%|
GAME DAY LINKS
- The Tale of the Tape for tonight's game. [via CDC]
- The Tortorella volcano is barely bubbling. [via Ben Kuzma]
- Crisis averted - Strombone1 isn't James Duthie. [via Pass it to Bulis]
- Jeremy Welsh is happy to be with the Canucks. [via Brad Ziemer]
Lights out on Long Island - The Islanders are scoring 3 goals/game, while the Canucks aren't too far behind at 2.7 per. If you think that they'll combine for over 5.5 total goals with the Canucks taking the two points, you'll get 3.75-to-1 odds. Not bad, especially since I'm always in favour of betting against Evgeni Nabokov stopping pucks.
Big Man Kassian - If Zack Kassian scores in a Canucks victory, you get $7 for every dollar you wager. Considering he only has 1 goal on the season this is obviously a little bit of a longshot, but given the odds, it may be worth a sprinkle.
Be sure to sign up with the Canucks Army promo code "CANUCKSARMY" to receive $25 worth of free bets.
Don't forget to sign up for Streakcred. There's 8 games on the schedule tonight. In case you were wondering my personal favourites are the Coyotes taking care of business at home against the Flames, and the Blackhawks beating the Panthers. I'm not exactly going out on a limb there, I know.