#Canucks recall David Booth from Utica, and sent Darren Archibald to Utica.
— Sportsnet Pacific (@SNETPacific) November 12, 2013
David Booth’s initial plan was to play on the team’s four-game road trip that just ended. He just overshot it by a day, and I can buy why the team wouldn’t want to make any big roster changes on the road. I don’t think it’s something that’s done often except in case of injury.
Anyway, Booth is back from his conditioning stint in Utica. He recorded one assist in three games, was a minus-one, and the team won its first two games on the season and why the heck are we pointing this out it’s only three games.
Darren Archibald, meanwhile, had two assists in eight games with the big club, which doesn’t look particularly great, but the Canucks scored on 15.6% of shots when he was on the ice and goalies had a .960 even strength save percentage. It’s safe to say that percentages made Archibald look slightly more NHL-ready than he probably was.
I’m still sticking to my guns when it comes to David Booth. Forget how he’s played in the last 50 games or so, or what his production has been like, he’s still a much better bet to be a game-breaking hockey player between now and the end of the season than any other healthy player you could stick on the Canucks third line. He hasn’t been shooting the puck often this year, and we’ll see if the conditioning stint has helped in *that* regard. He recorded six shots in the three-game conditioning stint, but whatever. The more pressing issue is that at the NHL, his shots per 60 minutes dipped from an excellent 10.773 from 2007 to 2013 to just 5.538 in 2014. That takes you from “elite” to “whatever the opposite of elite is” and I think it’s safe to say the team needs more out of him.
Still, he’s good at zone entries and defence, and the team out-shoots when he’s on the ice more than when he’s off, and he draws dem penalties. Let’s see how he plays until his next lower-body injury…