In today's topic, we take a closer look at forward David Booth in our final installation of the Top 10 Players To Watch this season.
Two years ago, David Booth was having a great season. Helping the Panthers to a tie for eighth place with Montreal, Booth led the Panthers in goals with 31 goals while adding 29 assists in 72 games.
Entering last season, Booth, along with everyone else was hoping that Booth would continue his ride to stardom and post even better numbers.
Unfortunately that didn't happen. Suffering two concussions in the season, first via a dirty hit by Flyers captain Mike Richards in October and then a second from a hit by Jaroslav Spacek in March, Booth only played in 28 games last season. The 6'0" winger did post 16 points in those games.
But as the saying goes. What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.
"You develop character going through things like that," said Booth. "You've been through a lot and you just have to be mentally tough to focus on what you have to do and not the past and the disappointments you had."
Taking most of the summer off to rest, Booth looks to be back to his old self, flying up the wing, weaving in and out of traffic and going into the corners, all while adding his normal offensive touch.
"The main thing this season is definitely to stay healthy, that’s my main goal," said Booth.
And while most players have some kind of personal statistical goals for the season, Booth shies away from that.
"If you start putting numbers on things (like goals, assists, etc), sometimes you get frustrated when you don’t reach those numbers, and you may start to try too hard," said Booth. :This is the first time in a while where I haven’t set numbers. I know what I want to do, and I know the game I need to play. It’s more of a ‘style of game’ this year, versus the ‘numbers game’ of the past.”
With the Panthers needing all of the scoring help they can get, a healthy Booth can go a long way this year as they try to make the playoffs.BY THE NUMBERS1 -
There's always a first time for everything and on March 3 (vs Philadelphia) Booth was involved in the first fight of NHL career against Mike Richards.
Had two multi-point games last season, March 3 against Philadelphia and March 23 at Toronto.4 -
Recorded a season-high four points (goal, three assists) March 3 against Philadelphia.31 -
Had a career-high 31 goals during the 2008-09 season.54 -
Missed 54 games due to two concussions last season.