The Florida Panthers will be without Vincent Trocheck for the rest of the regular season due to a foot injury suffered on Tuesday.
Trocheck injured his foot during a loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs and a fracture was an an immediate concern. Florida has yet to secure a playoff berth, and may now need to do so without one of its best players. With six games remaining, the Panthers sit in a fifth place in the Eastern Conference.
Despite not clinching a spot as of yet, Florida still sits in a comfortable position and should find itself in the playoffs. The expectation is that the Panthers would then begin their first round series on April 14th which should give Trocheck proper time to recover. The injury however could have an adverse effect on Florida's seeding for the playoffs.
Florida is currently trailing Tampa Bay Lightning atop the Atlantic Division by virtue of a tiebreaker, and the East is tightly packed from the two-seed all the way to the eight-seed. Florida is only two points back of second place in the East, and also is only four points up on the eighth and final slot. Without Trocheck on the ice, Florida may find difficulty in adding to its point total across the final slate of games.
"He was our best player for a long time, so that's tough," Jaromir Jagr said after the game. "Not only did we lose a game but we lost one of our best players. Hopefully someone will step up. That line had been playing so well."
Florida will need its depth to step up and try to fill in for Trocheck who is tied for the team-lead with 25 goals. The Panthers will take the ice next on Thursday against the New Jersey Devils.