Vokoun's Head Injury Sends a Chill Down Panthers' Spine

Eric LaForgeCorrespondent INovember 30, 2009

NEWARK, NJ - NOVEMBER 20:  omas Vokoun #29 of the Florida Panthers makes the save against the New Jersey Devils on November 20, 2008 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images



I’m sure by now, you have heard about the head injury to Tomas Vokoun. If you haven’t, the head injury was from a slash to the head from Keith Ballard (one of his own teammates).

In case you didn’t hear what happened, I’ll break it down for you. If you want to see the hit, you can check it out on youtube . They ended up taking him out on a stretcher.

I know that Ballard was frustrated by giving up a goal, and swinging your stick against the post is something that a lot of players do. However, he does have to be more careful. This is a fluke injury, and obviously and accident, but the accident was the fault of Ballard.

Personally, I’m not even a Panther’s fan, and I was still a little upset about the hit. It wasn’t malicious, or anything like that, it was just stupid. Even the location of the slash was unlucky. Like they said in the video, Vokoun was caught right in the temple.

Honestly, if I was the Panther’s coach, I probably would have kicked him off the bench for the rest of the game. There’s no excuse for it, you just can’t do that.

However, I would like to spend a little less time talking about the slash, and a little bit more talking about what’s going to happen next.

Obviously, the next thing that the Panthers are going to have to do is adjust. Hopefully, Vokoun won’t be out long and he’ll be able to start playing again soon. Early indications say that might happen, but don’t quote me on that, because I have no idea.

The only reason I’m saying that is because he was alert and responsive in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. It was also announced that he had an ice pack on his head, which tells me that the injury is probably not serious.

I know that the Panthers hope that’s the case. They want to get Vokoun back in net as soon as possible. However, this has definitely shaken the team a bit. It’s not every day that you have to deal with a situation like this, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it distracts the Panthers a little bit.

However, they need to get back down to business, focus on playing hockey, and put this behind them. They can’t get distracted by things that have already happened.

Originally posted at Tips for Hockey