Per Larry Brooks, there is good news on the Marc Staal injury front. Staal has been cleared for “light physical activity”, which is a step in the right direction for his overall healing process. Out for the entire season thus far with post concussion symptoms, Staal had experienced major headaches after tough workouts in the preseason, and was forced to completely shut it down for the month of October.
Despite the fact that Staal has been absent for the entire season, the Rangers have done extremely well. Currently riding a seven game win streak, Staal’s minutes have been given to Ryan McDonagh, who has more than answered the call for his team. Dan Girardi is having an All Star caliber year, and Michael Del Zotto has assumed the role of a top-four defenseman.
As good as the top four has been, is as unreliable as the bottom pairing has been. Steve Eminger has been awful, Jeff Woywitka has been inconsistent, and Brendal Bell is no longer with the club. Anton Stralman has yet to see a game, but he is hopefully going to provide some stability to the bottom pairing. If Stralman succeeds, and the Rangers get Staal back sometime soon, then the Rangers could have one of the best blue lines in hockey.