Yesterday, Vincent Trocheck practiced with the team for the first time yesterday since he suffered the gruesome ankle fracture on November 19th against the Senators. The reports were that in the abundance of caution, he would return after the Panthers’ bye week on February 1st against the Predators. Then George Richards dropped the bomb shell.
#FlaPanthers coach Bob Boughner said Vincent Trocheck return would wait until after the 10-day break — yesterday. Appears the timetable has been sped up. Don’t be surprised if he plays tonight v Toronto. Luongo in net…
— George Richards (@GeorgeRichards) January 18, 2019
When the injury first happened, everyone thought that his season was over, then after the surgery there was hope he could play in 2-3 months. We are less then 2 months from his ankle surgery on November 21st by the way.
Why Trocheck is back so soon shouldn’t be a mystery. The team is in the middle of a 7 game losing streak and a season that has been on the brink for a couple months is at the breaking point. 14 points out of the final playoff spot with 37 games left to go. It’s essentially the exact same spot at last year. Last year Harri Sateri ignited the team, and this year Vincent Trocheck is being asked to do it. This is a desperate move by a desperate team. The risks are obvious so I won’t really go into it.
So is playing Trocheck now worth the risk? In my opinion, no. The Panthers’ problems go much further then missing Vincent Trocheck. Vinny isn’t going to solve the goaltending woes or the constant turnovers in critical areas. Trocheck’s long term health is more important then trying to save a season that is on it’s last gasp of life support.
Then again I preached patience when Luongo was rushed back to stop a losing streak in Finland and that kicked off a 5 game winning streak, so what do I know?
As always, give me a follow on Twitter @CF3234 and let me know if you think bringing Trocheck back early is worth the risk.