There was an extra bit of excitement in the Vancouver Canucks locker room at the United Center Tuesday morning and David Booth’s ‘toothy aloof grin’ was as wide as ever because of it.
The Canucks forward will return to the line-up tonight in Chicago and upon declaring himself back and ready to play to the media post-practice, teammates gave him the gears.
It was brotherly love at its best. The Canucks missed Booth as much as he missed the team.
Booth, who will start the game on the fourth line in place of Aaron Volpatti, admitted rehabbing his way through a groin injury that forced him to miss the first 14 games of the season was trying.
“It really was,” said Booth. “I worked out with Ryan a lot and some days were really frustrating. It’s good to see him back and I’m glad to be back now too.”
Booth said he isn’t sure what to expect of himself on the ice and coach Alain Vigneault shared the sentiment.
“Obviously in David’s case there was no training camp and few practices, but he’s been with the team and working extremely hard to rehab his injury, so I’m not quite sure what to expect,” said Vigneault.
“We’ll see how he does tonight and depending on how comfortable he looks we’ll adjust his ice time.”
Cory Schneider (the man happy to see Booth's ‘toothy aloof grin’ again) gets the start in net against a Blackhawks team one win away from tying the NHL record for most consecutive games without a regulation loss to start the season. Chicago is 12-0-3 thus far.
The Canucks clearly aren’t focused on that.
“I think we’re more concerned about just how well they’re playing, as opposed to any streak or record, they’ve obviously been the best team in the NHL so far so for us it’s a good test to come in here and see where we’re at,” said Schneider, adding he loves playing at the United Center.
“It’s an amazing atmosphere from the anthem on. There are few buildings like it and one of our jobs is to get the crowd out of the game early to get some momentum.”