PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) – Pens defenseman Olli Maatta returned from the Olympics yesterday and returned to the Pens locker room today as the full team is scheduled to practice on Wednesday.
Maatta had three goals and five points in six games in Sochi, including a goal against Dan Bylsma and Team USA in the bronze medal game.
“For sure, we wanted it more. It’s not easy to find a motivation for a bronze medal game after a tough loss,” said Maatta. “I think we had an advantage, we had more time. For us, it’s a big pride to get a medal.”
Maatta said the Finnish team was motivated by some players who were playing in their final Olympic games, including the 42-year-old Teemu Selanne.
“Before the game, we didn’t even have the coaches come, we didn’t have a meeting. (Veteran players said) Let’s do it for us. Let’s do it for our country. It’s a big thing to get a medal,” Maatta said.
The 19-year-old Maatta said the Olympics, “was probably the best experience of my life.”
On potentially being tired as a rookie playing in 82 NHL games along with six Olympic games, he said “It’s more about mental. I’m excited to play the next game. I’m really proud to be here and I’m going to enjoy every moment.”