Aleksander Barkov, the captain of the Florida Panthers, is declared “day-to-day” by coach Paul Maurice following an injury sustained in a recent game. Despite initial worries, Barkov’s situation seems to have improved, and he will miss Monday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers as the team continues to assess his condition.
Maurice provided insights into the ongoing evaluation, stating, “We’re still looking at it. We didn’t [place him on injured reserve], but we still can, and that would take him into the weekend.” Barkov, a key player for the Panthers, skated off the ice under his own power after a hit from rookie defenseman Jackson LaCombe in the third period of Friday’s game against the Anaheim Ducks. He did not return to the game after heading straight to the locker room.
While initially assessed as a 5-minute major penalty, it was later downgraded to a 2-minute minor for tripping after review. Barkov required assistance leaving the ice and underwent evaluation in the locker room.
Panthers Can’t Afford to Lose Barkov For Long
The impact of Barkov’s absence is significant, considering his stellar performance in the early 2023-24 season with six goals and 17 points in 16 games. Teammate Aaron Ekblad acknowledged the challenge, saying, “Any time you’re missing Alex Barkov, it’s never going to be easy.”
The Panthers, expressing relief that it doesn’t appear to be more serious than originally thought, had a day off on Saturday and returned to practice on Sunday. Despite the setback, coach Maurice remains optimistic, stating, “We got lucky.”
Heading into Friday’s matchup, the Panthers were as healthy as they’d been all season. The game signaled the comeback of defensemen Aaron Ekblad and Brandon Montour, absent from play since the Stanley Cup Final in June. Both players underwent shoulder surgeries post-series, surpassing initial recovery projections.
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