Derek Stepan is saying the right things despite being praised for his work this season by coach John Tortorella.
Tortorella has called him the team's most consistent skater and top center, while using him in all situations. However, he isn't letting it get to his head. "I'm very honored to hear stuff like that," Stepan said Tuesday following practice. "At the same time, it doesn't mean anything right now. We have a fresh start here and, as a team, we've got to continue to win hockey games." He was a key player for the Rangers in the regular, while leading the team in scoring, and he'll need to continue that hot play if New York wants to advance far in the playoffs. Stepan will be a restricted free agent this summer, so a strong performance in the postseason could also increase his contract demands.