Sports Outside the Beltway

Homecoming- Goaltender Tomas Vokoun returns to Nashville

The question is whether he will play against his former team tonight.

SUNRISE — When Nashville started the season with back-to-back wins while Tomas Vokoun struggled in Florida, there was talk the Panthers might have gotten the wrong goaltender from the Predators.

But time has proven the wisdom of acquiring the longtime No.’1 netminder, who will return tonight to the Sommet Center and the city in which he spent the previous eight seasons.

“When you spend so much time in one place, and then go back to play, there’s mixed feelings,” said Vokoun, who led Nashville to three straight playoff berths. “I don’t have any hard feelings, only good ones.”

Vokoun, who did voluminous charity work in Nashville, said he remains in touch with many of the hospital patients he befriended there.

Coach and General Manager Jacques Martin said he wouldn’t make a decision on whether Vokoun would play until after Friday’s game. If he does, it would be his first back-to-back appearances this season.

My take on the matter is that Martin should put Craig Anderson in goal tonight. Vokoun played last night in Florida. Tonight’s game is at Nashville. If the games were back to back at home, sure play Vokoun but it isn’t.

Martin can’t be sentimental here. Nashville fans will want to see Vokoun tonight, but the Panthers need a well rested goaltender. That is more important.

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