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May 14, 2018

Jakub Vrana

Washington, D.C.: Practice Day

Q. From being around Brooks Orpik, what value has he had for a young guy?
JAKUB VRANA: Brooks just does everything right. You know, he's a really good pro. He comes to the rink every day, he shows up, he does everything right. Yeah, he's a great leader and a great leader for young guys.

Q. How have you guys as kind of the rookies on the team maybe bonded together throughout the year? How much did it help to have other young guys around for your first full season?
JAKUB VRANA: Yeah, it helps a lot. With some guys, I played in Hershey too, and we had a really good group of guys over there too. Just kind of now with a bunch of young guys here, it's nice. It's definitely better than being alone. Yeah, they're all nice guys.

Q. I was going to say, is it funny to you when you hear guys like Ovey and Backstrom have been waiting to get here for years and you kind of do it in your first playoff run to get to the Conference Final?
JAKUB VRANA: Wow, that's a tough question. I don't know. I mean, just every year is different, you know? You go through every year, and it's different. I don't know. We might appreciate it a little more later. But right now we are just kind of in the moment and just kind of focusing day by day. I don't really think Backy or Ovey are going to look past behind them, they're probably looking forward. This is a big opportunity for everybody, and we all want to take advantage of it.

Q. How much better do you feel about your game now than you did when the playoffs started? Playing more minutes and having a bigger role?
JAKUB VRANA: Yeah, it's a big responsibility if you get lots of minutes. I'm happy for every chance I get. I just want to go out there and have fun playing hockey and do my best and help the team. So far we're winning, so I'm really happy.

We're just going to continue to do that.

Q. What do you remember from the Columbus series when you're down 2-0, and how you felt how the team energy was? Does it help give perspective on how vulnerable things can be and how quickly things can turn for you or against you?
JAKUB VRANA: Yeah, I kind of figured it out during the playoffs. You know, the games can turn around really quick and the series can turn around really quick. Every game is so important. It doesn't matter if you play home or away, every game is so important. We were down 2-0 against Columbus, but we came back. We showed up. We have a strong group of guys and everybody knows what we're doing. Yeah, it was huge to come back and get us back in the series.

Q. Do you allow yourself to feel the weight of 3 up in the series versus 2 down? Is it healthy to kind of recognize that shift?
JAKUB VRANA: I mean, you can't really look if you're down 2-0 or if you lead 2-0. Every game is a new game. Every team comes prepared for that game. So we're leading now, but it's not over yet. We still have lots of work to do. Next game is very important.

Q. Barry had mentioned when the playoffs started you maybe thought you were a little nervous, little jittery. How do you feel like that settled down for you? When did you feel like that stopped being an issue?
JAKUB VRANA: Obviously before playoffs I kind of didn't know what to expect. But I was just ready to get my first shift and kind of get the feeling and get a couple games. It's still hockey. You go out there and systematically you know what you're doing, and you just try to go and have some fun playing hockey. Yeah, it's been fun so far.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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