From Puck Daddy:
Florida Panthers defenseman Keith Ballard was rather upset after Ilya Kovalchuk scored for the Atlanta Thrashers at 8:54 of the first period Monday night.
Unfortunately for goalie Tomas Vokoun, Ballard’s coping mechanism of choice was a baseball swing at the goal cage that instead landed on the side of the Florida keeper’s head.
Vokoun was taken off the ice on a stretcher, suffering through obvious pain. The Associated Press reports, via a Panthers spokesman, that the goalie “had a laceration to his ear but was alert when he was placed in an ambulance and taken to a local hospital.”
If you feel like you’ve seen a less severe version of this scenario play out before, congratulations: your memory stretches all the way back to May 2009, when Slovakian winger Tomas Surovy ka-bonged teammate and Montreal Canadiens goalie Jaroslav Halak’s head after their team surrendered the eighth goal in a 8-0 loss to the Czech Republic at the world championships.
Of course, there’s a world of difference between an aggressive tap on the top of the mask and Ballard’s wallop to the side of Vokoun’s head.
Stretchers have a way of sucking the funny out of these situations.
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