Follow Flyers rookie Michael Raffl as he enters his first Stanley Cup Playoffs. Raffl will be keeping this exclusive blog presented by Anexinet through the Flyers entire playoff run.
3RD ENTRY: My brother is in town
It's never fun to lose.
You can tell that we lost Game 3 when we got to the rink the morning after. I don't know how to describe it, just that you feel it around you.
That being said I think it was really good we came together here rather than have a full day off away from the rink. When you stay at home you might think too much or get rattled about something that went wrong.
We stayed off the ice, did some stretches and a little workout together. Especially in playoffs, I really like that we all do things together all the time. We talked things out with the guys, figure out what we need to do to be successful for the next game.
My brother is actually in town now too. So after being at the rink I showed him around Philly a little bit. We went to the Rocky steps, then we went for dinner.
He plays hockey too, but he's done with his season so I'm glad he could come over here to see me. He actually came with a friend and both of them aren't staying with me. I put them in a hotel nearby.
Playing hockey himself, he knows that it's playoffs time and he doesn't want anything to get in the way of me staying focused. He knows if I want to be alone, I can be alone or if I want to see him he's not too far away. It's great that he understands that.
Practice yesterday was great. We were on the ice for awhile, and you can tell it was back to work and everybody was refreshed for Game 4.
Thanks for reading and catch up with everybody on Saturday!
2ND ENTRY: Much More Relaxed
After Game 2 it was a totally different atmosphere on the train ride home. It's fun to win.
After a game, win or lose, I really don't like to talk about the game. I really just sit there and listen to music or talk with other guys on the team about non-hockey things.
I could tell the difference right away before Game 2, having been through Game 1, where I was really tight - I took it very seriously.
Vinny (Lecavalier) actually came over and talked to me and asked me what was wrong and why I was so serious. Usually I'm laughing at stuff before and during warmups.
He said to me 'Don't change your game', so it's nice to have guys like that in the room. A veteran guy that can help you - and it did. It helped loosen me up a little bit and I felt way better.
We didn't exactly have the greatest start but there wasn't any panic on the bench. We came back so many times this year, nobody panics no matter what happens in a game. We just kept sticking to the game plan and we turned it around.
After we returned to Philly, I did nothing. I didn't even want to cook. I ordered take-out, which ended up being sushi again. Then I sat on the couch to watch a movie.
I watched Goodfellas for the first time. Reno (Zac Rinaldo) always talks about it so I wanted to watch it. It was really good.
1ST ENTRY: Welcome to the Playoffs
Hey Flyers fans, well it's been a great first year in the NHL and I loved every minute of it. This year was actually my first time I had been in the States, so I'm lucky to be in a great city like Philadelphia.
When the regular season ended we had a lot of games, so after we played the back-to-back games I spent the next day to recharge the batteries before starting practice again.
After a couple practices at the Skatezone, we traveled to New York by train on Wednesday. This is also my first time I'll be in New York City for an extended time - during the regular season it's always in and out very quickly.
You can tell this time of year is different now. The playoffs… every player, the way they act and the way they prepare themselves is a little bit different.
When you go out for the warmups and you see the fans going crazy and even during the national anthem, it's just wild.
For me, I got very, very excited for the first game. Pre-game I was so amped up I was jumping around and couldn't stop talking during our soccer game. Maybe I was a little bit nervous, that's normal I think, but the thing is with me it all stops when I hit the ice for warm ups.
When I'm out there - I'm out there. I don't think about a lot of things, just what I have to do and the game plan.
The loss in Game 1, it was tough. I think we were in the game a long time. It was a tight game and we did a lot of good things. It's just one game, but there are many more to come I think.
Yesterday was a complete day off, so we got to rest before hitting the ice for a full practice today. I slept in on the day off and went out for sushi around our hotel. Then I headed back to play some X-Box.
We play FIFA 2014 and it's me and Jake vs. Simmer and Zac. Me and Jake won that battle, 4-0, although Jake carried me a little - he's by far the best on the team!
Like I said before it was back to work today and we had a good practice. We were on the ice about 45 minutes, and I'm starting to get excited for Game 2.
We play a little earlier and I like that. I like daytime games and I think we had a pretty good record this year when we did.
Thanks for reading, I'll catch up with everybody in a couple of days.
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