Staal, who suffered the concussion late last season when he was hit by his brother Eric of the Carolina Hurricanes, met with Dr. Robert Cantu in Boston and underwent the examination. Having been completely shut down for over a month, Staal will be monitored closely during light workouts, and whether or not his headaches return will determine his progress and how and when he moves forward. Unfortunately, nothing is for sure when it comes to head injuries, as Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby can attest. Crosby remains out of the Penguin lineup since last year around the All Star break, and his return is still uncertain.
The Rangers have been tight-lipped about Staal's condition and recovery, and they will apparently remain that way.
Staal has developed into one of the top blueliners in the game, as he and Dan Girardi formed the Rangers top unit and logged some of the most minutes in the league. To their credit, the Rangers have not collapsed without one of their core players, as both forwards and defensemen have stepped up their play in every zone. Girardi has been better than ever, his offensive game continuing to improve while his defense remains top notch. His omission from this years NHL All Star ballot is a crime unto itself, as was noted by Ranger coach John Tortorella last week.
"This league," Tortorella bemoaned. "It's because he's not pedigree. There's no pedigree there. Our league is so ass-backwards when it comes to that…It's not just this year that he's underrated. This guys has been a really good player, but if you don't have the pedigree in this league, they don't look at you."
It hasn't just been Girardi picking up the slack during Staal's absence. Ryan McDonagh has been impressive, and Michael DelZotto has regained the coach's trust enough to become a mainstay on the power play. Steve Eminger,Michael Sauer and Jeff Woywitka have all been rock solid, aided by improved backchecking by the teams forwards.
At 10-3-3 and having won seven in a row, it is hard not to try and imagine how good the Rangers will be once Staal is healthy and back in the lineup. For now, however, with no true indicator of when #18 will return, the Rangers continue to go about their business of winning games without getting too far ahead of themselves.
“We can’t get too high or too low. We have to try to keep the balance, play our game, and stay with our system,” said Marian Gaborik, the Rangers top scorer who has seven points during the winning streak . “Sometimes it gets away from you when you are winning. You find ways outside your system and then it can turn around on you quickly.”
New York will visit Montreal Saturday night, looking to win eight straight games for the first time in 36 years.
Related VideosReturning Soon!!!!
No related posts.
Short URL: http://sport-ne.ws/618