May 27, 2013, 4:51 PM EDT
For each of the above, their injury dramatically affected their play on the ice. (Want the sad proof? Google one of their names along with the phrase “was never the same” and see all the matches you get.)
With that in mind, let’s hope Rangers defenseman Marc Staal is right about the eye injury he suffered on March 5.
“My belief is that once everything settles down and I get comfortable with it, I’ll never have to be asked about it again,” Staal said today, per ESPN New York. “I don’t think it’ll be an issue.”
Big, steady, and able to log the tough minutes against the opposition’s top players, Staal’s absence from the New York lineup for all but one game of the playoffs put even more pressure on defensemen Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh, two blue-liners whose workload was already substantial.
Unfortunately for the Rangers, they didn’t have a Torey Krug up their sleeves.
Only 26 years old, Staal admits his eye is “probably not going to be 100 percent” again; however, “that’s not to say it’s not going to get a lot better. It’s still improving.”
Tortorella on Staal: "When he was injured he was playing his best hockey that I've seen him play since I've been here. That hurt us."—
Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) May 27, 2013
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