Penguins notebook: Vokoun knows about pressure
Vokoun knows about pressure
Penguins goalie Tomas Vokoun looks unflappable during games, even in the midst of the pressure-filled Stanley Cup playoffs.
A past experience in Vokoun's life makes hockey — even this time of year — seem tame.
In 2006, Vokoun was forced to remove himself from the lineup shortly before the playoffs because of severe back pain. Playing with Nashville, he was diagnosed with pelvic thrombophlebitis, a rare blood condition that gave Vokoun blood clots.
He found himself in the hospital for days, wondering if he'd ever play hockey again. In fact, his concerns were more powerful than hockey.
“I didn't know what was wrong with me,” Vokoun said. “I had massive blood clots behind my abdominal wall. They didn't know if it was a tumor or whatever.”
It took doctors a few days to determine the extent of his condition.
“You're doing full-body scans,” Vokoun said. “There are a lot of sick people sitting in the waiting room. I was still pretty young (29). I would say I was freaking out. It's one of those things, you think it's never going to happen to you. Fortunately it didn't. But even those couple of days when I didn't know what was wrong, it was scary.”
Vokoun took blood-thinners for some time but was cleared to play again later that summer.
Seven years later, he finds himself the Penguins' starting goaltender in the playoffs.
“You get better,” he said of his health scare, “and you still want to win. It's fun to be in this locker room and to be playing this time of year.”
Odds and ends
Penguins coach Dan Bylsma and Ottawa coach Paul MacLean orchestrated full team practices Thursday, a day after offering their teams optional workouts. ... The Penguins have no signs of injuries, a rarity during the postseason.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins GM Rutherford: Malkin’s play belies fact he missed training camp
- Penguins notebook: After slow start, penalty kill on upswing
- Penguins assistant coach Tocchet wants Letang to shoot more on power play
- Penguins notebook: Team celebrates ‘Hockey Fights Cancer’ event
- Penguins’ defenseman Maatta confident of full recovery
- Fleury, Penguins too much for Kings
- Rossi: Fleury is, and will remain, Penguins’ soul
- Predators GM Poile: Penguins’ firing of Shero not fair
- Penguins’ Crosby OK with Neal comments about trade
- Penguins veteran defenseman Scuderi’s game looking up