F (OT)

Mike Hoffman has a very achievable goal in mind heading into the 2021-2022 season

Published September 23, 2021 at 12:11

One of Marc Bergevin's best offseason acquisitions is free agent Mike Hoffman. This one signed a three-season, $4.5 million per season contract with the Montreal Canadiens.

If there is one interesting aspect of Mike Hoffman's game, it's his ability to thread the needle. The Kitchener native has five seasons of 25 or more goals behind the tie, including a 36-goal season in 2018-19, since joining the NHL. If you thought that was all in the past, you might want to change your tune. Mike Hoffman plans to score at least 30 goals this year. That's a goal he sets every season.

"Yes, it's possible to score another 30 goals. That's one of my goals. I always have that goal when I start a new season. I will do my best to achieve it." - Hoffman 

"It's no secret. I'm a scorer, that's one of my biggest strengths," replied the number 68. I've always worked on my shot since I was a kid. I beat opposing goalies with my shot, not often with fakes. For me, that's the key. I usually know where to take my shots against a goalie. I don't study the styles of different goalies, I focus more on taking my shots quickly and spotting the holes."

If there is one category where the Tricolore absolutely had to improve, it's on the power play. Coincidentally, Mike Hoffman is a specialist in the art of scoring goals with a man advantage. The left winger has scored 35 power play goals in the last three seasons, which ranks sixth in the NHL.

"I'm proud of it, I've always liked playing on the power play, he said. I'm comfortable with that role. It's a lot of my bread and butter. I know I can score and help my team. There are some really good scorers in the NHL and I'm flattered to see my name on that list. The top five are guys who score with their shot, they don't pick up returns in the goalie circle. They can beat a goalie just with the power and accuracy of a shot."

Hoffman is not fooled, he knows his five-on-five game still needs to be perfected. He plans to work on this aspect of his game with the Habs.

"My game without the puck is probably where I still want to improve. I'm not hiding from it."

The 31-year-old knew what he was getting into with the Canadiens last July. The pressure does not scare him, he who has already played in a Canadian market, Ottawa for a few seasons. He takes pride in playing for one of the original six teams.

"It's always an honour to play for an original team. I also liked the idea of coming back to Canada. I started my career in Ottawa so I know what to expect from a market like Montreal. For me, it made sense to get along with the Habs."

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