Olympic Q&A: Raffl: A chance 'to show what you can do'

Olympic Q&A: Raffl: A chance 'to show what you can do'

Tocchet and Boucher on the Olympic hockey tournament

February 13, 2014, 9:00 am
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In his first season in the NHL, Michael Raffl is also participating in his first Olympics for Austria. (USA Today Images)

This is the second day of the men’s Olympic hockey competition in Sochi, Russia.

It’s a far busier day, with four games involving three Flyers -– Kimmo Timonen (Finland), Michael Raffl (Austria) and Andrej Meszaros (Slovakia).

Austria will be hard pressed to defeat Team Finland as Raffl and Timonen face each other head-to-head. Slovakia and Russia might be more evenly matched than expected.

Q: Michael, this is your first Olympics and it comes during your first season as a player in North America. Excited?

Raffl: Well, yeah, I’ve been thinking about it. You watch TV and see the commercials about the Olympics. You think a little about it. I still try to focus on games here. Eventually, it will come.

You get excited. But that was weeks ago or longer and it kind of wears off a little bit. If you think too much about it, then the time goes slower. Not nervous, excited I would say. I really look forward to going there. Get the chance to play in the Olympics. Not everyone gets a chance to do that. It’s great.

Q: What are your expectations?

Raffl: I don’t think we’re going for a gold medal. But at the same time, you’re not going into a tournament unwilling to lose. You try your best every single game we go out there and wear our jerseys. Give the best we have and at the end of the day see how it comes out.

Q: Could this Olympics help you this coming summer in free agency to get another contract somewhere?

Raffl: Help me? You get to play against the best players in the world and that is a great opportunity to show what you can do. I’m pretty sure I will get a lot of ice time there. It’s going to be really cool for me and all the other Austrian players to get a chance to play. Like Canada is all superstars. It’s going to be real nice.