The Florida Panthers desperately need a boost and could get it as early as tonight in the game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
You won't believe this but forward Vincent Trocheck is a game-time decision ahead of the tilt against the Leafs Friday night.
The same Trocheck who suffered one of the most brutal injuries of the season back in November when he broke his ankle and was taken off the ice on a stretcher during a game against the Ottawa Senators.
Eight weeks removed from surgery to repair the right ankle that he fractured by crashing into the boards, he is expected to be back. The short recovery time seems to be enough. Miraculous.
At the time, the Panthers had announced that their star forward would be out indefinitely. Many people even expected him to miss the remainder of the season.
This is certainly the boost the Panthers need to get this season back on track. Trocheck has 14 points (three goals, 11 assists) in 18 games this season. He was second on the Panthers with 75 points (31 goals, 44 assists) last season, behind Aleksander Barkov (78 points; 27 goals, 51 assists).
“I’ve been pushing to play for the last couple weeks,” Trocheck said on Thursday. “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-per-cent me. Whenever they give me the go, I’ll be ready.”
“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.”
The Panthers have lost seven consecutive games and Trocheck might be exactly what Florida needs to start a new, and more possible streak.