Entering the 2013 season, the Vancouver Canucks faced the difficult task of managing key injuries to their forward group. On Tuesday night, they can successfully say that they were able to do so.
Booth had originally sustained a groin injury on Jan. 13 during a skating drill in training camp. This added to the Canucks troubles at forward, as Ryan Kesler was expected to miss a considerable amount of time while recovering from off-season shoulder and wrist surgeries.
In the compacted 48-game NHL, these losses could have put the Canucks in a hole early in the season. After an inconsistent start to the year, the Canucks have found their form in February, managing to register points in six-of-seven games in the month.
In addition, the club will enter Tuesday night with a three-point cushion (with a game in hand) atop the Northwest Division.
They will look to build upon that lead by giving the Blackhawks their first regulation loss of the season. If Chicago wins or forces overtime, they will tie the 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks as the only teams in NHL history to start a season without a regulation loss in their first 16 consecutive contests.