CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. — The Florida Panthers desperately need a boost, and Vincent Trocheck has pronounced himself ready to provide one.
Barely eight weeks removed from surgery to repair the right ankle that he fractured by crashing into the boards during a game at Ottawa, Trocheck took part in a full practice Thursday for the first time since the injury happened. He’s been back on the ice for the last couple weeks, limited to either working out either on his own or with a small group.
”I’ve been pushing to play for the last couple weeks,” Trocheck said. ”So I don’t think it’s up to me at this point. It’s just a matter of whenever they give me the go-ahead. When I get back out there, it’ll be 100 percent me. Whenever they give me the go, I’ll be ready.”
He’ll likely miss only three more games before returning. The Panthers play Friday against Toronto, Saturday against Nashville and Monday against San Jose. The All-Star break follows that stretch, and when Florida resumes play on Feb. 1 it seems that barring a setback Trocheck will be back in the lineup.
”The doctors have basically said his healing process is back to where it should be, his cardio is back to where it should be, he’s ready to play as of right now,” Panthers coach Bob Boughner said. ”But we’re going to do the smart thing, obviously, and not rush him back until after the break. If it was Game 7 tonight, he’d be in.”
Trocheck had a series of checkmarks to hit before reaching this point. The first step was getting his cast removed after surgery, followed by having the ability to walk again, then some strength-building, then getting skates on and stepping back onto the ice. All that remains on the list now is suiting up for games.
”It was tough to see him go out,” Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo said. ”But it’s nice to have him back.”
Trocheck can’t get back soon enough for Florida, which is facing a long road back into the playoff picture.
The Panthers have lost seven consecutive games, their longest slide since dropping nine straight early in the 2013-14 season. They started Thursday 14 points out of the final Eastern Conference playoff spot and even with roughly half the season left – 37 of their 82 games – they are, at best, highly doubtful to make a postseason appearance.
”I’m sure you can imagine, it’s been tough to watch,” Trocheck said. ”Win or lose, I want to be on the ice. It’s a matter of me wanting to be out there. It’s been a tough couple months.”
CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. (AP) — Florida Panthers center Vincent Trocheck was back on the ice and skating Friday, barely six weeks removed from fracturing his right ankle.
The team released a photo of Trocheck on the ice before the team practiced. There is still no timetable for his return.
Trocheck had three goals and 11 assists in 18 games before he got hurt in a gruesome scene after crashing into the boards at Ottawa on Nov. 19, and had surgery to repair the fracture two days later. Trocheck has said that he plans on returning to the team this season.
BREAKING: Vincent Trocheck is on the ice skating before today’s #FlaPanthers practice.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Florida Panthers forward Vincent Trocheck has had surgery for a fractured ankle and may play again this season.
Trocheck was hurt when twisted his right leg while chasing the puck near the end boards in Monday night’s game at Ottawa. He was taken off the ice on a stretcher.
”It’s never easy to see a player and person like him suffer an injury like this, but we are confident that he will make a full recovery and be back on the ice with our team this season,” Panthers general manager Dale Tallon said in a statement Wednesday.
The 2017 NHL All-Star has three goals and 14 points in 18 games this season.
Extremely grateful for all of the support and well wishes I’ve received over the last day or so. Can’t thank you all enough. Surgery was a success, and the road to recovery begins now. I’ll be back before you know it. Thanks, everyone, and go Cats @FlaPanthers
Add another ailment to the list, as the Bruins announced that Bergeron will be re-evaluated in about four weeks after suffering a “a rib and sternoclavicular injury” on Friday. The perennial Selke candidate appeared to suffer that injury during a collision with dark horse Selke candidate Radek Faksa of the Dallas Stars:
Boston has shown a pretty good knack for fighting through injuries, as Bergeron missed his fair share of time last season. That said, the B’s are pretty top-heavy these days, so losing big names is discouraging.
Also discouraging: the Atlantic Division looks ferocious right now; the Bruins are ranked fifth in the division with 25 points. While they have a halfway decent lead for the East’s second wild card spot (three points ahead of the Islanders, though New York has a game in hand), that could evaporate during this depleted month.
If Bruce Cassidy can guide the Bruins through this stretch relatively unscathed, then he deserves even more credit as an underrated NHL head coach.
Do note that the Panthers haven’t confirmed or denied that report just yet. Considering how nasty the injury looked, it’s no surprise that he’ll need surgery. Here’s hoping he can return to NHL action eventually as the same player – or close to his peak level – because he’s been an underrated gem for Florida for some time.
Speaking of Florida, it’s fair to wonder what the Panthers should do in response to this awful bit of news.
The Athletic’s George Richards brings up a good point (sub required) that the Panthers might want to call up Henrik Borgstrom, a promising former-first rounder (23rd overall in 2016). In all honesty, it was surprising that:
A) Borgstrom had such a short leash with Florida to begin with, as he only received four games of NHL action, only averaging 12:40 in ice time.
And B) that it would even take an injury for him to get another look. The 21-year-old’s been fantastic in the AHL, scoring 14 points in as many games.
There aren’t many silver linings to Florida losing Trocheck, but perhaps Borgstrom can pick up some of the slack?
The Stars should probably work on being more aggressive, yet losing Bishop might hit the brakes on such an idea. They’re currently averaging 29.8 shots on goal per game, the eighth-lowest mark in the NHL, while averaging about one more allowed per night.
The Capitals largely avoided injuries – for some unknown or at least unspoken reasons – under Barry Trotz. The bill seems to be coming now that Todd Reirden is in control.
Washington got Braden Holtby back in its thrilling win against Montreal on Monday, yet T.J. Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov are still banged-up. Add Brooks Orpik to that injured list, as the team announced that he’ll miss four-to-six weeks after undergoing “a successful outpatient arthroscopic surgical procedure on his right knee.”
Orpik, 38, appeared in 10 games so far in 2018-19, although he hasn’t suited up for the Capitals since Oct. 27. It’s a tough break for the veteran defenseman, although some might argue that he’s at the point in his career where losing him isn’t much of a deficit for Washington.
Canadiens defenseman Noah Juulsen is out indefinitely with a facial fracture after taking two pucks to the face against the Capitals on Monday. About the only good news there is that he won’t need surgery, according to TVA’s Renaud Lavoie.
Florida Panthers forward Vincent Trocheck was stretchered off the ice during Monday’s game against the Senators in Ottawa.
Trocheck, 25, suffered the injury after taking an awkward and scary-looking fall into the endboards while battling for a puck with Ryan Dzingel late in the first period. The remainder of that period was delayed until after the first intermission, as there reportedly were no other paramedicsin the building as a fan needed treatment earlier in the game.
Video of the injury is above the headline, but be warned; it’s pretty nasty. After Florida’s 7-5 win against Ottawa, Panthers head coach Bob Boughner provided a vague update.
“We don’t know the extent of the injury. We know it’s not going to be a short-term thing,” Boughner said. “He’s going to be reassessed, but he’s coming back with us to Tampa Bay and then home to South Florida.”
(It seems like Trocheck going back with the team is a fairly positive sign, though.)