Following a 27-game absence from the Florida Panthers’ lineup, center Vincent Trocheck made his return last Friday, leading the Cats to victory against the Leafs.
The devastating knee injury sustained by electrifying two-way centerman Vincent Trocheck against the Ottawa Senators crushed the Cats on an emotional level.
“Tro” had produced a highly adequate statistical slash line of 3G, 11A, for 14 points in only 18 games played (0.78 PPG).
Essentially, Trocheck is the clear-cut heart and soul of the Panthers, almost like the glue which unifies the players.
Vinny was expected to be sidelined for approximately 3-4 months following successful knee surgery in November. However, Trocheck rehabbed rather quickly and returned to the lineup following a two-month absence.
In fact, he wasn’t supposed to return until after the All-Star break, but he was medically cleared and subsequently re-entered into the lineup.
Making the claim of Vincent Trocheck being a literal warrior is a mere understatement. Trocheck has defied the odds in the past, sustaining a previous leg injury and returning for the 2016 playoffs (played in 2 games).
During Trocheck’s prolonged absence from the lineup, the Panthers struggled mightily. The Cats productivity on the offensive end diminished and they entered a downward spiral in the Eastern Conference standings.
Ultimately, replacing Vincent Trocheck was an uphill task which couldn’t be accomplished, as evidenced by the results.
Although, the Panthers have played like a completely different team with Vincent Trocheck centering the second line.
The Cats defeated the potent Toronto Maple Leafs and Nashville Predators by two goals in each contest. In those two statement victories, Trocheck recorded an assist against Toronto as well as a goal (GWG) and an assist against Nashville on the road.
Florida has seemingly been revived and reinvigorated with Trocheck’s presence in the lineup. Without Vincent Trocheck, the playoffs would undoubtedly seem like a pipedream (which they basically are right now), but Trocheck has suddenly reversed the course for the Cats.
Now, Florida sits 12 points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins with a game in hand, currently. While making the playoffs does seem highly unlikely, the return of Cousin Vinny should certainly provide Panthers faithful with some optimism.
In essence, the Cats are a significantly better team with Trocheck and simply could not recover from Trocheck’s injury, as conveyed by their egregious seven-game winless streak.
Trocheck provides the Florida Panthers with another premier scoring option, much-needed physical toughness, stability towards the second line, as well as penalty kill and power play depth.
He is unquestionably a versatile weapon, a productive player who’s incredibly solid on both ends of the ice. Despite being undersized, Trocheck plays with tremendous effort and heart, acting as the primary catalyst for the Cats.
All of the sudden, the Panthers have regained their confidence and have found their spark plug in Trocheck.
The American born native is indubitably a star-level player and can immediately transform the Florida Panthers into an instant playoff contender, without a doubt.
Trocheck was simply the one player the Cats couldn’t afford to miss, as Florida was incredibly discombobulated and dysfunctional without Vinny.
The budding superstar centerman provides stability and order for the Cats, and will unequivocally contribute towards yet another second-half miracle run for the Florida Panthers.
Ultimately, having a healthy Vincent Trocheck will prove vital down the stretch if the Panthers can pull off a playoff miracle push (at unlikely and unrealistic as it may seem).