Florida Panther’s center Alexsander Barkov left his game against the Norway National team in their second game of the preliminary round after being checked into the boards. He did not return to the game and Finland’s head coach Erkka Westerlund is calling it a lower body injury, no other details were given.
Finland’s center position has already been decimated with injuries, as Mikko Koivu and Valterri Filppula were forced to pull out due to injuries and Saku Koivu decided to rest up during the break for the stretch run with his NHL team, the Anaheim Ducks.
Barkov was enjoying a great start to the Olympic games, with an assist against Austria and has been a plus-3 while averaging 16:39 of ice-time a game. But where Barkov had been excelling was the face-off circle. With the Panthers, Barkov was under 50% at winning face-offs (won 400-of-819) but in Sochi, he has won 80% of his draws (20-of-25).
Finland plays their final game of the preliminary round on Sunday, against Canada in a game that will decide who wins the group. Be sure to check back here at The Rat Trick for updates on Barkov and Tomas Kopecky, the other Panther at the Olympic games.
Anthony Murphy is the Editor at The Rat Trick, you can follow him on Twitter @AMurphyTFC.