With David Booth gone, what are the Canucks losing for 4-6 weeks?

The quick and easy answer to that question is about 2 shots per game.

It was announced last night that David Booth, an early-season trade pickup by Mike Gillis, will be out 4-to-6 weeks with a MCL injury sustained in Tuesday’s 6-0 win over Colorado. Booth was the victim of a knee-on-knee collision from Colorado’s Kevin Porter, who can expect a howler from Brendan Shanahan’s office sometime Thursday or Friday.


The well-coiffed Christian, who is not only an excellent possession player, is also one of the first athletes to use Twitter to quote scripture in an attempt to heal. Unfortunately for the Christian, he was ruled out for a while a couple of hours after that, but, heck, it could have been a lot worse.

Since Booth’s arrival to the Vancouver Canucks, he has taken just under three shots on goal per game, and his possession numbers and scoring chance differential, playing with Chris Higgins and Ryan Kesler, has been fantastic. With the score tied, the Canucks have had possession of the puck 66.4% of the time he was on the ice, the highest of such measures for the team since his trade from Florida. Booth also led the Canucks in Relative Corsi, another on-ice shot differential metric.

For the last year or so, Booth has struggled to get the good bounces. He had one of the lowest PDOs in hockey last season, PDO being the simple addition of team shooting percentage and goaltender save percentage at even strength when a player is on the ice. Booth’s PDO was the fourth lowest in the league among forwards last season, an indication that things were about to turn around for him. And they were beginning to. In his last five games before he got hurt, Booth had three goals, two assists and was a +4 rating, as pucks started to find the back of the net again.

This is a pretty tight loss for the Canucks, although they are a good enough hockey team without him, Booth’s skating ability helped the Canucks advance the puck when he was on the ice. His presence in the lineup helped vault the Canucks from a very good possession team to the best puck possession team in the NHL. He took around three shots a game, while his replacement may take one or two fewer throughout a game.

So, again, the Canucks lose a couple of shots a game and a bit of speed. The return of Mason Raymond could not be better timed, and while Raymond is not quite the replacement for Booth the team needs, he’s a player who brings a lot of outside speed who can play Ryan Kesler’s wing. This is a chance for Raymond to display his value to the Vancouver Canucks, who can now only hope that the winger doesn’t suffer any setbacks in his upcoming recovery.

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