The Rangers season started with a 15-day journey to Europe, and they didn't play their first home game at the newly renovated Madison Square Garden until the season was three weeks old. For the past month HBO cameras have followed their every move as the Rangers star in the 24/7 documentary series. And then there is the outdoor Winter Classic in which they will play on January 2nd. That's a lot of potential distractions for one team to deal with, yet the Rangers have persevered and currently sit in first place in the Atlantic Division with 48 points. As such, head coach John Tortorella has repeatedly praised his club's focus and ability to block out all distractions. Thursday, following the Blueshirts practice at the Kettler Ice Facility in Arlington, VA, Derek Stepan elaborated on how the Rangers have maintained such a focus. "Our leaders have stepped up, and even our coaching staff has done a really good job of making sure we are focused," explained Stepan, the second year pro who is fourth on the team with 25 points. "It's pretty hard to get too far ahead of ourselves with the way we go about our business in our organization and in our locker room. I'd say leadership all the way through help guys understand the importance of one game at a time. There is now a Rangers way of doing things, and we all understand that." The next step in showing that focus will come Friday night when the Blueshirts skate against the Panthers in Florida, the club's final contest before the Winter Classic next Monday. Share your thoughts below.
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