Panthers' Vokoun not out "long term"

Great news from the Cats today on the status of injured starting goaltender Tomas Vokoun: he's most likely day-to-day in his recovery and subsequent return to the club.

"I think as soon as we can rig something up that he can comfortably get his helmet on around that ear and the stitching, he'll be ready to play. Whether that's Wednesday, Thursday or on the weekend, I don't know. But it's not going to be long term."

- Coach Peter DeBoer, via South Florida Sun-Sentinel

The above Sentinel link contains a lot of info concerning where the Panthers and Rochester Americans currently reside re: player movement and physical limitations in getting a call-up done. It ain't pretty, and the clock is ticking on tomorrow's home game vs. Colorado.

Wanted to get my own two cents out there on the craziness that was last night's injury to Tvo, since the story's gotten an absolute crapload of coverage. And understandably so, considering the sheer weirdness of it.

Anyone who's watched beyond a handful of games in this sport has witnessed precisely what Keith Ballard did in Atlanta (minus the head-contact thing). I'm willing to bet confidently far more than a majority of hockey players - in every league - have whacked a stick upon a goalpost or crossbar completely driven by frustration. We've all seen it time and again. Ballard is no criminal, nor should he have been punished by either the league or his club for the action.

At the time of the incident I believed the on-ice officials would hand the Florida defenseman a two-minute minor for unsportsmanlike conduct, as a direct result of the second swing (in which Ballard's stick broke after contact with the post). I've seen those penalties handed out - sporadically - in the past, and assumed this would be the next one.

I'm simply ecstatic Vokoun is in good shape, suffered nothing long-term (other than becoming the answer to a future Trivial Pursuit question), and will be returning ASAP.

As for Ballard, I - like so many others - really felt bad for the guy after performing a relatively routine (if not a poor choice for a) release of anger. Just a terrible moment, though it will pass.

The Panthers survived Zednik/Jokinen and they'll bury this one too.