Vancouver Canucks forward David Booth is hoping a recent conditioning stint in the American Hockey League will help get him back on track.
Booth, the oft-injured winger, spent three games with the Utica Comets, the Canucks’ top minor league affiliate before getting recalled Tuesday.
He is expected in the lineup Thursday, when the Canucks host the San Jose Sharks to begin a six-game home stand. Booth hasn’t played with the Canucks since Oct. 24, when he suffered what is believed to be a groin injury.
Booth, who has two goals in his last 23 NHL games combined over this season and last, skated with the team on Wednesday, and was clearly optimistic about this return to the lineup.
He was able to get greater amounts of ice time with Utica. He’s hoping he’ll be able to carry some of his newly found confidence back with him to Vancouver, where he had previously been playing just a little more than 13 minutes a game.
“This is the best I’ve felt all year for sure,” Booth told reporters in Vancouver on Wednesday.
“Playing game scenarios, getting in game shape, you do that when you’re playing those kind of minutes. It’s so tough to try to stay fresh when you’re playing 10, your legs just kind of sit there.”