I just saw this video and story on ESPN and felt compelled to write something.

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.

In a fit of emotion, Ballard swung his stick and it landed square on the side of his own goalie’s head (Tomas Vokoun).

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.”

OK, this was an accident, and OK, this is a physical sport known for players loosing teeth and blood on a nightly basis, but this just seems over the top and without any justification.

I’d love to hear your opinions.

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