Rangers defenseman staying focused on the present amidst crucial season

New York Rangers defenseman K'Andre Miller (79) controls the puck in the first period against the New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden

The New York Rangers have a lot to prove this season. Last year’s playoffs were an embarrassing showing that turned the Rangers into one of the biggest postseason busts of recent years. GM Chris Drury is confident that he’s put together a team that can make a strong run at the Stanley Cup, but there are still many games ahead of the Blueshirts before any potential playoff run could begin.

With sorrows about the past and expectations for the future looming over the Rangers’ shoulders, it’s important that they try to focus on the moment and give their full attention to whenever their next game is. Getting caught up in both the past and the future should not take over the present. Rangers defenseman K’Andre Miller would agree with that sentiment, as he has spoken about his mental strategy.

Miller speaks on where his main focus lies

Miller is a player that always seems to bring a positive attitude to the locker room. He’s a young, talented defenseman who is coming off a breakout season that was followed up with a two-year contract extension. During the Rangers’ training camp last month, Miller spoke about how he tends to focus on the present and how directs his attention:

“I try to stay in the moment as much as I can and focus on the right now. I’ve found that when I think about the future, or think about the past, it brings down my now. When you can try to stay in the present and stay within your lane – your vision – I think that’s always good.”

Per Vincent Z. Mercogliano of Lohud

Why focusing on the present is so important for the Rangers

The Rangers have seen how confidence and mental stress can bring down an entire team. Last season, Artemi Panarin turned from a superstar to one of the worst players on the Rangers during the playoffs. His confidence was shattered and he failed to keep the Blueshirts going. This season, Panarin is bringing a new version of himself to the ice. Rather than focusing on his past failures, he’s working to be a better player each game- and he’s looked like one of the Rangers’ best forwards so far.

The Rangers absolutely can not get too ahead of themselves. Yes, they are eager to make another postseason run in order to forget about last year. But there are still 79 games left to play, and there must be many more wins in order to clinch a postseason berth. Don’t dwell on the past, don’t look for the future, just focus on each individual game day by day like Miller claims he does.

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