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Barkov's Travel Blog: Home Again

by Aleksander Barkov @Barkovsasha95 / FloridaPanthers.com

HELSINKI - Everything is happening so quick.

I mean we just had a game yesterday in New Jersey and right after that we were on a plane heading to Finland. After a game you're just tired and not really thinking about anything. But then you come here and see all of the familiar things. The nature, the language, the people, everything is suddenly familiar.

I haven't been in Finland around this time of the year since I moved to Florida in 2013. In hockey season, there really isn't time to come home in the Fall, so you miss a lot of this stuff. Even just seeing all of the street signs in Finnish on the bus ride from the plane to the practice rink today got me excited.

We went right from the plane to the rink today, but it's all right because we're hockey players. We like to practice, play and skate. We're fine. I think it was a good idea to get a sweat in right now. Now we have the rest of the day off and tomorrow off, too. My family is already on their way from Tampere. It's about a two-hour drive from Helsinki, but I'll try and make it home at some point if I'm not too tired.

With the guys, I'll probably take them to a sauna. We just need to rest right now after that long flight. There's no warm weather here at all, so you have to go a sauna to get warm. After that, you just jump in a lake and your body feels great and relaxed. You can't really understand that feeling until you try it.

It's also nice to have Juho here. He deserves to be here. He's been playing great ever since training camp. He's a really good guy and I get along with him really well. It's nice to have at least two Finns on the team. Overall, I think there's only three Finns here - Me, Juho and Laine for the Jets. I think we can handle the Finnish media so none of the other guys on the team have to try and speak any Finnish.

But the main thing during this trip is those two games against Winnipeg. We've got to try and win those games and get four points. We've been close, but now we need to start capitalizing. That's the most important thing. That's the main reason why we're here, but it's also great that we're in Finland, too.

- Barky

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