Skip to content

Under Pressure: Marc Staal

Sep 17, 2013, 12:28 PM EDT

Marc Staal Getty Images

“Under Pressure” is a preseason series we’ll be running on PHT. For each team in the NHL, we’ll pick one player, coach, GM, mascot or whatever that everyone will be watching closely this season. Feel free to play the song as you read along. Also feel free to go to the comment section and tell us we picked poorly.

For the New York Rangers, we pick … defenseman Marc Staal.

No shortage of candidates for the Rangers. Henrik Lundqvist is in a contract year, on the verge of becoming the highest-paid goalie in the NHL. Alain Vigneault is the new head coach after John Tortorella was fired. Everyone knows Brad Richards needs to bounce back.

But for us, Staal’s is the most compelling story after the serious eye injury he suffered in March. The 26-year-old is a huge part of New York’s blue line and is also in the running to play for Team Canada at the Olympics.

You may recall that Staal’s postseason return lasted just one game before he put his comeback on hold. Fortunately, he says now that “the perception, what I’m seeing on the ice, has [gotten] way better than when I was trying to come back in the playoffs.”

If Staal can get back to playing 20-plus minutes a night against tough competition, not only will the Rangers benefit from all the things he does well on the ice, it should also lessen the load on the team’s other top blue-liners, like Ryan McDonagh, Dan Girardi and Michael Del Zotto.

“Training camp’s going to be important for me to not only get physically ready but mentally on the ice,” Staal said. “Getting comfortable and getting the speed and the intensity in skates and bringing that into the exhibition games and into the season.”

For all of our Under Pressure series, click here.

Latest Posts
  1. Volchenkov unlikely to return to Nashville

    May 30, 2015, 3:45 PM EDT

    Arizona Coyotes v Nashville Predators Getty Images

    He will be an unrestricted free agent in July.

  2. Leiweke sticking around as MLSE boss

    May 30, 2015, 2:48 PM EDT

    Tim Leiweke AP

    The search for his replacement continues.

  3. Ducks juggle lines ahead of Game 7

    May 30, 2015, 1:45 PM EDT

    Anaheim Ducks v New Jersey Devils Getty Images

    Fleischmann draws in for Etem.

  4. After prepping for three years, Franson excited to test free agency

    May 30, 2015, 1:00 PM EDT

    Cody Franson Getty Images

    For the first time in his career the 27-year-old is about to hit the open market.

  5. Report: Devils won’t sign Anthony Brodeur

    May 30, 2015, 11:45 AM EDT

    Anthony Brodeur Anthony Brodeur

    He’ll be eligible to re-enter next month’s NHL Draft.

  6. Video: ‘We’re right there,’ says Lundqvist

    May 30, 2015, 1:08 AM EDT

    Getty Images

    Hard to blame the goalie in this one.

  7. Lightning ‘answer the challenge’ in Game 7 to reach Stanley Cup Final

    May 30, 2015, 12:17 AM EDT

    Getty Images

    “I don’t know if we’re so young and dumb and don’t know any better…”

  8. Vigneault: McDonagh was playing with a broken foot

    May 29, 2015, 11:31 PM EDT

    Getty Images

    Might explain what occurred in the first period.

  9. Bolts strike Stanley Cup Final berth thanks to Game 7 win over Rangers

    May 29, 2015, 10:55 PM EDT

    150530_LightningWinGame7 Getty Images

    Tampa Bay awaits the winner of the Blackhawks-Ducks series.

  10. Paquette enters back into Lightning lineup for Game 7

    May 29, 2015, 8:21 PM EDT

    Getty Images

    Rangers also make one change to the lineup.

  11. WATCH LIVE: Lightning at Rangers, Eastern Conference Final Game 7

    May 29, 2015, 7:20 PM EDT

    Getty Images

    The winner, as you know, goes to the Stanley Cup Final.

  12. Coyotes reinstate color analyst Boynton after guilty plea in casino incident

    May 29, 2015, 6:39 PM EDT

    boynton Getty Images

    “I’ve met with Nick several times and he knows he made a terrible mistake.”

  13. Boudreau mulls line changes ahead of Game 7

    May 29, 2015, 5:30 PM EDT

    Bruce Boudreau AP

    And it looks like Tomas Fleischmann might replace Emerson Etem, again.

Featured video

Which teams have the Game 7 edge?
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. N. Horton (1297)
  2. A. Vermette (1265)
  3. R. Nash (1226)
  4. P. Kane (1190)
  5. D. Bylsma (1135)