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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Finland's Aleksander Barkov out of games with bum knee


By on 2/15/2014 12:33:00 PM

The Finnish Olympic hockey team is all about defense and goaltending - good thing, because they just lost another offensive weapon.

Already down Anaheim's Mikko Koivu and Tampa Bay's Valtteri Filppula, who were scratched from the games by injury before they even started, Finland suffered their greatest loss when Florida Panthers' rookie centerman Aleksander Barkov was forced from their game with Norway with a knee injury that will keep him from participating in the rest of the tournament.

 The 18-year-old Barkov was a bit of a surprise to be selected for the Finnish team, and even more of a surprise to be a top six forward, but when it was announced that he would be centering his boyhood idol Teemu Selanne on the first line, he was delirious.

"I have been always watching him play and he's a legend. So I will enjoy every moment to play with", Barkov said at the time of the announcement - unfortunately, he only got to savor playing with him for two games.


Preliminary reports from Sochi offer few details on the injury Barkov, nor the severity of it, nor even which ligament(s) is affected.  

Barkov was centering Mikael Grandlund and Selanne on Finland's top line and left after playing just two shifts in the third period - and there has been no word as to who will take Barkov's spot on the top line, though the early favorite is Olli Jokinen who is centering the second line.

Barkov had just returned to the Panthers' lineup after sitting for 10 days with a knee injury suffered in Buffalo against the Sabres on January 21st, but it is unclear whether this latest injury is fresh or the result of a lingering issue from the previous ailment.

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