NEWARK, N.J. -- Vancouver Canucks
coach Alain Vigneault
gave his players a deserved morning off on Friday after scoring a dramatic shootout victory over the Detroit Red Wings
less than 24 hours earlier.
The Canucks will arrive at Prudential Center a little after 4 p.m. ET to prepare for their intriguing tussle with the surging New Jersey Devils
The victory at Joe Louis Arena gave the Canucks an NHL-best 21-10-2 mark on the road -- the team finished as the League's best road team last season (27-10-4). On top of that, Vancouver is 7-2-1 in the last 10 contests away from home and have scored more road goals (107) and more road power-play goals (29) than any other team in the NHL.
At the center of that offensive assault, of course, are Henrik and Daniel Sedin
, who have combined for 41 goals and 88 assists this season on the team's top line. Henrik leads the club with 66 points and Daniel is tops with 28 goals.
In addition to the Sedin twins, however, Devils coach Peter DeBoer
can also point to the production coming from a player he knows very well, right wing David Booth
. Booth, who was acquired by Vancouver from Florida, DeBoer's former team, on Oct. 11, has collected 11 goals and 22 points in 34 games with the Canucks. He has played on a line with Mason Raymond
and center Ryan Kesler
The 27-year-old Booth couldn't catch a break in 2009-10 after watching his point totals increase during his first three years in the League. One of the scariest images of that season was Booth absorbing a crushing open-ice hit from Philadelphia captain Mike Richards
in October 2009, and being carried off the ice on a stretcher with a concussion that would cost him 45 games and any hope of earning a roster spot on the U.S. Olympic Team heading to Vancouver.
"David is a great kid," DeBoer said. "He was heading towards a great career and then had that hit and it really set him back. He missed a ton of hockey."
He'd return to the lineup and suffer a second concussion in March, falling victim to another open-ice hit from Canadiens defenseman Jaroslav Spacek
, officially ending his season.
DeBoer, who is ecstatic to see Booth having such success in Vancouver, said he may have erred in his decision to bring Booth back into the lineup so soon after his head injury.
"Looking back, I probably asked and expected too much out of him coming off the injury that he was coming off, and he didn't have the year he wanted to," DeBoer said. "When you look at the guys coming off those types of concussions around the League, very few of them don't take at least a year to recover, so I think when I watch him now, I see the David Booth
of the pre-injury and that's good to see."
Booth seemed to make up for lost time last season, connecting for 23 goals and 40 points while averaging just over 19 minutes a game. He led the club with a whopping 280 shots. In 41 games this season, he has 11 goals and 23 points.
Here's what the Canucks lineup might look like against the Devils on Friday:
- Henrik Sedin
- Alexandre Burrows
- Ryan Kesler
- David Booth
- Cody Hodgson
- Jannik Hansen
- Maxime Lapierre - Dale Weise
- Kevin Bieksa
- Sami Salo
- Christopher Tanev
(13-5-0, 2.25 goals-against average, .928 save percentage) is scheduled to make his first start in three games with Roberto Luongo
serving as backup.