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June 10, 2016

Peter DeBoer

San Jose, California: Practice Day

THE MODERATOR: Questions for coach.

Q. What is the most important factor to win Game 6?
COACH DeBOER: The most important thing for us to win Game 6 will be I think us just coming out and playing our best game. I know their record after losses is very good. They're going to rebound with a very good game. Our game's going to have to be as good a game as we played all year if we want to push this to seven. I think our guys know that.

Q. Pete, Logan has had such good games in games like Game 7 against Nashville, Game 6 against St.Louis, then again last night. Is there something about him that he kind of thrives in that situation, raises his level?
COACH DeBOER: Yeah, I think great players have that ability. I put him in that category, just like Joe Pavelski has a knack for game‑winning goals. I think Logan has the ability to raise his level of play when the chips are down. I think he's done that for us the entire playoffs.
It's a great gift to have. Not everyone has that ability.

Q. What did you like about Melker on that line? How do you think those guys did as a threesome?
COACH DeBOER: I thought that was our best line last night. Melker has been excellent the entire playoff, but particularly in the Final, I think he's really found another level for us here. He's disruptive on the forecheck, has tenacity on the puck, he's turning a lot of pucks over.
I think if you're a skill guy like Logan playing with him, you know he's going to create some turnovers with the way he forechecks. You're there to make the next play.

Q. What is the message to the team after such a big win to stay alive?
COACH DeBOER: Well, I think the one thing is we're 105 games into this season. You got to win all kinds of different ways. Some nights it's your special teams, some nights is five‑on‑five, some nights is your goalie. We make no apology for how a game looks.
The bottom line is we found a way. We're heading back home. We got to make sure we take care of business in Game 6.

Q. How will you take every advantage for Game 6?
COACH DeBOER: I think the nice thing is we're at home. The fact we have two days to prepare I think helps us, especially with the travel we've done as a team this year.
There's not much motivation needs to go on now. There's maximum two games left in the season here. I think it's just a matter of execution.

Q. Talk about Gordie Howe.
COACH DeBOER: Tragic day. To think that we lost Muhammad Ali and Gordie Howe in the same week or 10‑day span is incredible. You talk about two guys that were torchbearers for their sport over the last century, that would be the name for hockey and the name for boxing.
I think it's a sad day. But I'm actually sitting here watching the Muhammad Ali funeral. I think it's also a celebration of their life, what they accomplished, how many people they touched.

Q. Did you spend much time with him, get to know him?
COACH DeBOER: I never did get a chance to spend a lot of time with Gordie. I met him, but never got much beyond that.

Q. Is an empty‑net goal for Pav the sort of thing that can get a guy going?
COACH DeBOER: I think so, for sure. I think goal‑scorers, a lot of it's confidence and feeling good about yourself. I think a lot of times it's a bounce or one to go in off your shin pad or an empty netter that gets you going in the right direction.
I think he's no different than other great goal‑scorers that way.

Q. Peter, how concerned are you about their power play? They had one goal off their power play last night, then had another that hit the post. How critical is penalty killing?
COACH DeBOER: Well, they've got a good power play like we've got a good power play. I think our penalty killing has to be a little tighter. We were very good early in the series. I thought last night we were a little off, a lot like our defensive game in our own end a little bit. We have to tighten both those things up.
But I'm looking more at the solution within our room and how we're killing as opposed to spending a lot of time on their power play.

Q. How do you see Martin Jones' performance last night? Is this going to have a positive impact for your team?
COACH DeBOER: Yeah, if he doesn't have that performance, we're not playing another game. I think he recognized the importance of the situation, you know, stood up and was our best player.
Game 6 it might have to be somebody else, but that's what good teams do.

Q. Is there any way to explain you outshoot Pittsburgh and lose a game, then get outshot and win a game? Any explanation to what's going on?
COACH DeBOER: Well, no. I think it goes to show what the shot stat significance is, at least in our minds. I've said this before earlier in the series: I don't think it's always an accurate reflection of the game.
Last night they definitely carried the play so it could have been. Our analytics run much deeper than the shot clock.

Q. You were talking about Martin Jones. What about Logan Couture?
COACH DeBOER: Yeah, again, excellent. This is the time of year, your backs are against the wall, people have to step up with big‑game performances. We got a couple last night from those guys. We've got to get a couple more in Game 6 here to give us a chance in Game 7.

Q. Do you have a Tomas Hertl update? Is he skating yet? Any chance he'll play in Game 6?
COACH DeBOER: Tomas Hertl is day‑to‑day. I haven't been to the rink yet today. I don't know if he was on the ice or not. I don't have that report yet.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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