Keith Ballard Viciously Slashes Tomas Vokoun Over The Head (Video)
Everyone has their own way of letting out frustration. When it comes to sports, it may often be released against the opposition, or maybe even on the officials. Rarely does frustration result in teammate-on-teammate violence, but that was the case Monday night in Atlanta, and the result was a terrifying one for Toman Vokoun and Keith Ballard of the Florida Panthers.
In town to face the Thrashers, the Panthers found themselves tied midway through the first period when Ilya Kovalchuk got behind Ballard and found himself alone on a break-away against Vokoun. His initial shot was stopped, but Vokoun couldn’t find the rebound and Kovalchuk was able to recover in time to slip the puck into the net.
Ballard was visibly upset following the goal. Attempting to break his stick on the goal post, Ballard’s swing unintentionally struck an unsuspecting Vokoun in the head, knocking him to the ground. Ballard had successfully broken his stick, but he was unaware that Vokoun’s head was the cause.
The Panthers’ netminder remained on the ground in pain as blood dripped from his head. The Trainers came out to attend to Vokoun for several minutes before he was stretchered off and taken to an Atlanta hospital to be treated for a deep cut to his ear. Thankfully, he was “alert and responsive” on his way to the hospital.
It is great to hear that Vokoun will be alright, not only for his own health, but for the health of Keith Ballard as well. You could see how shaken up Ballard was following the incident as he waited and watched from the bench (and at one moment had to retreat to the locker room area).
Ballard is often the one responsible for protecting Vokoun. Unfortunately, this time he could not guard his goalie from his own stick.
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