Following the trade which brought the Vancouver Canucks American winger David Booth in exchange for Mikael Samuelsson along with other baggage, Canucks fans instantly began salivating at the thought of an all-American second line. Canucks fans got their wish as the line of Chris Higgins, Ryan Kesler, and David Booth was formed.
At first the line, dubbed as the, “American Express,” line didn’t live up to expectations. Chris Higgins was the only one scoring with consistency and Booth just didn’t seem to have any chemistry with his line mates. However, in recent weeks all three members of the American Express have found their scoring touch. Booth and Kesler both potted a few goals along with many assists as Higgins increased his total for the season to 9 goals.
Unfortunately, the card has been declined. The demise of the American Express line started with Chris Higgins being diagnosed with having a staph infection. Coincidentally, Higgins suffered the same “injury” last season around this time. The infection has caused major swelling and cuts in Higgins foot and is assumed to have been caused by transfer of bacteria in the locker room showers. I caught up with Higgins on Tuesday before the Canucks morning skate and he was sporting a “croc” shoe on the infected foot.
As if the loss of Higgins wasn’t bad enough, the Canucks lost David Booth for 4-6 weeks following a sprained MCL caused by a knee on knee hit by Avalanche forward Kevin Porter. Porter was suspended 4 games for the dirty hit. With Booth out for over a month look for rookie Cody Hodgson to see more playing time. For the mean time, the Canucks have two open forward positions until Higgins is healthy to return. Gritty winger Victor Oreskovitch was called up for Tuesday night’s game versus Colorado but was immediately sent back following the game because coach Vigneault was not pleased with his performance. The Canucks called up forward Bill Sweatt and dressed defenseman Andrew Alberts to play on the 4th line. Many are calling for the Vancouver club to call up tough guy Mike Duco to provide a spark and add much needed toughness.