Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov played for Team Finland at the World Cup of Hockey 2016. The 21-year-old agreed to keep a diary throughout the tournament, which ended for Team Finland on Thursday with a 3-0 loss to Team Russia in Group B.
In his final installment, Barkov talks about Team Finland's struggles to score, the future of the Finnish national program and what is next for him now that Team Finland has been eliminated.
TORONTO -- You have to try to take the positives always. Of course we lost 3-0 and we did not score any goals, but we had a lot of chances in the past two games.
We have a good future in this team and we have a lot of good young guys on this team. We just need to think positive from this tournament, take it as a good experience and try to move forward.
I can't explain why we wouldn't score in this tournament (one goal in three preliminary-round games). Maybe we didn't put as many pucks to the net as we wanted. We had good chances and we had nobody in front of the net on the rebounds. If you don't score, the opposite team scores. That was the biggest thing for us in this tournament.
Mikael Granlund hitting the post in the first period; that was the story for us in the tournament. He hits the post and the other team scores. It happened against Sweden last game and now against Russia. Of course, the first game against North America, wasn't very good from us and we didn't have much in that game. Against Sweden and against Russia, we played great and we had good chances, played a good defensive game, had good goaltending and then we didn't score.
We only scored one goal and let up nine, but I don't think we were that bad. In the last two games, we were good and almost played better than the other team.
Now, this is over and I go to Florida tomorrow. We'll see when I have to go to training camp. I need to take positive things from this tournament and move forward. I think I will be more ready for training camp now than I was last year, for example, because I have six games under my belt and I am ready to go. I have played six games, six tough games, so I think I am ready for training camp.
Despite the losses, I have some really good memories of my time at the World Cup. Just being with this team. It's a great team, great guys on this team and you just have to enjoy every moment you come to the rink and every moment in the locker room. Of course, it was not a good tournament for us, but we battled hard and gave everything in the last few games.