March 20, 2015 |
CALGARY, Alberta - For most, the biggest item on the Flyers' wish list this summer is a stud left winger to skate alongside Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek. Ron Hextall joked last week no one was going to wave a magic wand and say, "OK, here's a 25-year-old Brett Hull, thank you very much. " No, that will not happen. But what if the Flyers already have a suitable first-line left winger who can bury goals from the feathery passes off the sticks of the team's two stars? His name is Michael Raffl.
February 17, 2015 |
BUFFALO - Michael Raffl says that he isn't quite 100 percent and that he is still getting his wind back after a long bout with pneumonia. On Sunday night, however, he breathed life into the Flyers' playoff hopes. Playing in his first game since Jan. 20, Raffl scored on a wraparound with 7 minutes, 15 seconds left to snap a 1-1 tie and lift the Flyers to a 2-1 win over hapless Buffalo at the First Niagara Center. The victory moved the Flyers to within five points of idle Boston for the last Eastern Conference playoff spot.
November 6, 2014 |
The Flyers received crushing news Wednesday: Michael Raffl, the emerging top-line left winger who shares the team lead with six goals, will miss six weeks because of an apparent foot injury he suffered blocking a third-period shot Tuesday in a 4-1 win over Edmonton. "He's been a huge part of our line and our team," right winger Jake Voracek said Wednesday after practice in Voorhees. "It's tough to see him go down, especially after the start he's had . . . but like I said, hockey injuries happen.
November 3, 2014 |
SUNRISE, Fla. - The Flyers' 4-4-2 October record wasn't spectacular by any means, but, considering their difficult schedule and their multitude of injuries, it was a respectable start. Respectable and, in some ways, encouraging. Encouraging because they beat quality teams like the Penguins and defending Stanley Cup champion Kings - even though their top three defensemen were unable to play because of injuries and ailments. Encouraging because they were competitive in almost every game, despite the fact that their No. 1 goalie, Steve Mason, failed to register an October win. Encouraging because right winger Jake Voracek is blossoming into a star, because the team has gotten more than anyone could have expected from defenseman Nick Schultz, goalie Ray Emery, and left winger Michael Raffl.
March 28, 2014 |
ONE YEAR AGO, Michael Raffl was living in near anonymity in Leksand - a quiet town of just 5,934 residents in the middle of freezing Sweden. Raffl led his Swedish Elite League team in scoring, but had not yet popped up on the NHL radar. Time was running out. He was already 24 years old, reaching the age where few players aren't considered "prospects" anymore. "You should have seen that place," Raffl said. "There was nothing going on. I couldn't even go to dinner at night, everything closed early.
February 2, 2014 |
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. - When Michael Raffl was bumped from the first to fourth line earlier this week, Flyers coach Craig Berube was careful to point out the move was not a demotion. "He's been a good player," Berube said then. "Wherever he goes, people seem to play good around him. It'll be a better fourth line with him on it. " Raffl, 25, has provided Berube with some unexpected flexibility in his first half season in the NHL. Originally considered a player with a top-end skill set, Raffl has demonstrated an ability to play the all-important "elevator" role - meaning he can move up and down the lineup with ease.
January 6, 2014 |
GLENDALE, Ariz. - Injured wingers Michael Raffl and Matt Read did not play Saturday night against Phoenix, causing coach Craig Berube to juggle his lines. Read, who was apparently hit in the head in Calgary, skated briefly in the morning practice but was not feeling well and left the ice. Raffl (concussion) skated and said he is almost ready to return. Both could be in the lineup Tuesday in New Jersey. "I felt good, actually. I didn't expect to feel that good," Raffl said.
January 5, 2014 |
GLENDALE, Ariz. - When the Flyers face the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday night, one of their top-line wingers, Michael Raffl, will not be in the lineup. But the Flyers could get winger Matt Read back after he missed a game with an apparent head injury. He will be a game-time decision, general manager Paul Holmgren said. Raffl, a blossoming rookie from Austria who has helped jump-start linemates Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek, suffered a concussion in Thursday's 2-1 loss to Colorado and is out indefinitely.
January 1, 2014 |
VANCOUVER, British Columbia - When the Flyers were among the teams courting Michael Raffl last season, some club officials estimated that the Austrian would have to spend a year in the AHL to get used to the smaller North American rinks. The sturdy 6-foot, 195-pound winger is a year ahead of schedule. Raffl, a 25-year-old rookie, has been thrust onto the Flyers' top line with Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek, and entering Monday he had a goal and four assists in his first seven games with that unit.
December 31, 2013 |
VANCOUVER - To say December has been a big month for Michael Raffl would be an enormous understatement. Three days ago, Michael Raffl received the biggest phone call of his season - from Manny Viveiros, coach of the Austrian national team, letting him know that he was picked to represent his country in the upcoming Olympics. About 3 weeks before that, Raffl was notified by the Flyers that he would be sticking around for a while - he could finally select an apartment in the area.