The Olympic break began last week, with players from all over the NHL heading over to Russia to represent their home countries. There has been a lot of fuss and back and forth among the Flyers fans about the decision by team Canada to not include Claude Giroux on the roster. After Steven Stamkos suffered a broken leg and was expected to miss the Olympics, some people believed that Giroux was a sure thing for his open slot, but the Flyers Captain was looked over in favor of Stamkos’ teammate Martin ST. Louis.
With the NHL at a stand still, this means that there are no actual Flyers games to talk about, but that doesn’t mean the Flyers are irrelevant.
Flyers defensemen Kimmo Timonen (Finland), Mark Streit (Switzerland), and Andrej Meszaros (Slovakia) are all headed to the Olympics as are Forwards Jake Voracek (Czech Republic) and Michael Raffl (Austria). These Olympics will be special for three of our players as Voracek and Raffl are going for the first time and this will be Timonen’s last Olympics. After being looked over for the 2010 games in Vancouver, Voracek will play alongside former Flyer Jaromir Jagr again in the Czech jersey. Unfortunately for first time Olympian, Michael Raffl his home country of Austria isn’t expected to win any medal in these games.
“I’m not nervous. I’m excited. I’m really looking forward to going there. Not everybody gets a chance to play in the Olympics, so it’s something great … I don’t think we’re going for gold,” Raffl said, “but at the same time, you’re not going into a tournament willing to lose.”
Early this season, Kimmo Timonen made it clear that this may be his last year with the NHL. At 38 years old Timonen is one of the oldest players on he Flyers roster. The defenseman left nothing to speculation when addressing his Olympic appearance.
“This is my last,” Timonen said . “It’s not ‘might be.’ This is my last time to put on that Finnish jersey, so it is a special time for me.”
So far the Finnish team has won both of their games, beating Austria (and fellow Flyer Raffl) 8-4 and a 6-1 win over Norway with Timonen erving as an Alternate captain. Finland’s next game will be against Canada on Sunday.
Jake Voracek and the Czech Republic are 1 and 1 with a loss to Sweden and then a 4-2 win over Latvia. In their game against Latvia, Jake Voracek scored to break a tied game in the second period. The Czech Republic team will face Switzerland on Saturday.