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May 24, 2017

Mike Hoffman

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - Practice Day

Q. What kind of reaction did you get from friends and family after that last night?
MIKE HOFFMAN: I think everyone is just excited. Obviously, an elimination game, to be able to contribute in that way and help our team get a big win that was needed, it obviously feels good.

Q. Is that what you -- you just don't get a whole lot of opportunities, but you find a way to take advantage?
MIKE HOFFMAN: I mean, they're a good hockey club. They don't give us much time and space. That may have been one of the only chances all series that I actually had some time to pick my spot and find the back of the net. They've done a really good job at taking away, like I said, all our time and space, and their goaltending has been really good as well.

Q. What's the pressure like for tomorrow night?
MIKE HOFFMAN: No pressure on us. I mean, they're the ones that are up. They're the ones that are favored. For us, we just go and take it as another hockey game.

This one is a Game 7. Obviously, there's a lot of us that haven't played in one of those at this level, but we know the game plan. Stick to our system and try to shut them down as best we can and give ourselves the best chance for the 60 minutes.

Q. Mike, can last night's game be flushed as easily as maybe Sunday's?
MIKE HOFFMAN: I mean, it's a seven-game series. If you lose by one goal or you lose by seven, a loss is still a loss, and that's kind of the way we took it. If we lost 2-1 in overtime, we still would have been in the same situation, but it's almost better that we got our butts kicked a little bit, kind of give us a pretty good wake-up call. We know we have to be at our best every night if we want to compete with these guys.

Q. How many Game 7s did you win in the driveway?
MIKE HOFFMAN: Yeah, there was obviously a lot of those played growing up as a kid, but maybe for the Stanley Cup Final, not the Eastern Conference final.

Q. In Game 5, when you guys lost 7-0, did you think to yourself (inaudible)?
MIKE HOFFMAN: I know it's going to be hard. Any time you have to win two games against a team like Pittsburgh is obviously a difficult task, but if there's a team that can do it, we believe in ourselves in here. We want to take it one game at a time. Our goal was to come out and win that game at home and push it to seven games, and that's what we've done. Any time you can get a Game 7, you never know what can happen. That's one game, and all it takes is a couple of flukey bounces either way, and game's over.

Q. (Inaudible) more experience in these moments. Is there something to be said for going in and not knowing any better?
MIKE HOFFMAN: Yeah, obviously, they've been here a couple times before, which some of us haven't. Like I said, it's one game. Anything can happen. We're going to go out there and play with everything we've got.

Q. (No microphone)?
MIKE HOFFMAN: Yeah, I think he's obviously the leader of the group. So the way he carries himself and reacts definitely affects the players. So seeing him be calm and collected definitely helps us out.

Q. (Inaudible) the last one (inaudible)?
MIKE HOFFMAN: The last Game 7? Yeah, actually, I think it was the year we won the Calder Cup the first round of the playoffs in Game 7.

Q. Do you subscribe to the power of positive thinking and emphasizing positive things, like in sports psychology, good things will happen if you visualize good things?
MIKE HOFFMAN: Yeah, I'm a believer in that. For anything positive to happen, you've got to have a positive mentality and believe in yourself. If you don't believe that you guys can do it, you don't stand a chance, especially in the era we are today where other teams and other players are so good. So obviously having that positive mentality and positive thinking is probably half the battle.

Obviously, I think we have that in this group. Everyone wanted to come out and win that game last night, and we believed in it.

Q. How do you train yourself to think positively and keep the negative thoughts away?
MIKE HOFFMAN: I think you just keep reminding yourselves and having positive conversations, not worrying too much about the negative side. You know mistakes are going to happen. There's going to be frustration at times, but, like I said, reminding each other of the positive things we're doing and keep that mentality going.

Q. While you're waiting for Game 7 (no microphone)?
MIKE HOFFMAN: Yeah. I mean, you never know what could happen. Andy could save them all, and we could score one shorthanded. It's a game of hockey. You never know what could happen.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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