Finland lost its top two centers before the 2014 Winter Olympics when it was announced Sunday that veterans Mikko Koivu and Valtteri Filppula would not compete because of ankle injuries.
The Finns now will be without their third-best center because Florida Panthers rookie Aleksander Barkov also has suffered an injury, per Stephen Whyno of the Canadian Press.
#Finland announces injured Barkov is out of Olympics . Tough break for Finns and for the teenager who was living dream playing with Selanne.—
Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) February 15, 2014
Finnish media outlet Yle uutiset reported that Barkov could miss 4 to 6 weeks with a knee injury.
Finland hasn’t had any trouble scoring goals in the preliminary round, defeating Austria and Norway by a combined score of 14-5. With that said, the Finns’ first real test will come Sunday against defending gold medalist Canada, and Barkov’s playmaking skill, size, physical presence in all three zones and goal-scoring ability will be sorely missed.
The 18-year-old center tallied an assist and a plus-3 rating in two games in Sochi.
Photo via Twitter.com/icehockeyspain