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After 10-game absence, Staal to return for Rangers on Tuesday

Dec 30, 2013, 2:40 PM EDT

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Marc Staal will play for the first time since Dec. 7 when the Rangers take on the Panthers in Florida tomorrow night.

“I talked to [head coach Alain Vigneault] and said I wanted to play and he said I’m  in,” Staal said, per the Bergen Record. “(Missing time) sucks, it’s frustrating, you want to be out there helping the team win games.

“I’m excited to just get back out there and be a part of it on the  ice  again.”

Staal has missed the last 10 games with a concussion, suffered during a 4-3 overtime loss to the Devils after a crushing hit to the jaw from New Jersey’s Reid Boucher. It was the second concussion he’s suffered recently, having missed 36 games to start the 2011-12 season following a hit from his brother, Carolina captain Eric Staal.

Getting Staal back will be a big boost for the Rangers. They’re already without Anton Stralman and recently called up Conor Allen from the AHL (Allen, a rookie, made his NHL debut last game.) Staal was averaging 20 minutes per game prior to getting hurt, though he only had two points and one assist through 30 games.

  1. johnstone17 - Dec 30, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    Real good news !!!!!!

  2. xdj511 - Dec 30, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    Well that’s good news. With Callahan skating and probably a couple of weeks away, and Stralman’s injury supposedly only day-to-day, the Rangers will be fully healthy, at least. They can go back to the MDZ/J. Moore/Falk revolving scratch on D. It’ll be interesting to see which forward is the odd man out when Cally comes back, although with Pouliot suddenly playing well and Miller shoring up the third line, it should be either Boyle or D. Moore.

    • johnstone17 - Dec 30, 2013 at 3:32 PM

      Boyle. D. Moore has been pretty good on the 4th line.

      • xdj511 - Dec 30, 2013 at 4:06 PM

        Hmm… after thinking deeply about the subject… I think Boyle should be sat down, at least at first. Right now Boyle and D. Moore are pretty much serving the same role on the Rangers, defensive-minded center and penalty killer. D. Moore is pretty much doing what was expected of him, but a lot more is expected from Boyle. I think he needs to sit for a game or two and hopefully it’ll have the kind of effect on him that it had on Pouliot. After that, give D. Moore a breather. Of course, more forwards could get injured soon and this will all be moot.

    • gaborik104life - Dec 30, 2013 at 4:37 PM

      Not too sure about the trio of MDZ, Moore and Falk rotating anymore. Allen stepped in played well throughout the game and was on with less than two minutes too go, nearly had double the amount of TOI compared to Falk and the lines for practice had Staal with Allen, MDZ with Stralman (who most likely will not play tomorrow), J. Moore and Falk, Mcd and Girardi. Also one of the coaches talked to Falk and MDZ which is an indication of scratches at least for one. For the time being that trio will continue to rotate until Stralman is good to go but if Allen continues to play like he did last night MDZ’s days can be coming to a close in a Ranger jersey much sooner as all except Allen would have to go through waivers if I’m not mistaken and his play may warrant keeping him up and keeping two extra dmen up

      • xdj511 - Dec 30, 2013 at 4:52 PM

        Well if the coaches see Conor Allen as an upgrade over one or more of those guys, then so be it! Falk can probably go back to Hartford but keeping MDZ and J. Moore in the press box every night isn’t doing anybody any good. If MDZ is moved right now I can’t see getting more than 1 high draft pick or two lower ones back.

  3. joey4id - Dec 30, 2013 at 4:32 PM

    This is good news for the team. They’ll need to make the push for the playoffs, and I hope he stays healthy. I hate to see guys miss games due to a head injury.

  4. bronxtale247 - Dec 30, 2013 at 9:26 PM

    Agreed! Boyle needs to take a seat. Something like 26 games without a goal now, pathetic. To slow to stay on the forechecking line, and is soft for a big guy. As for Staal’s return, nothing to be excited about. Like Boyle, just another waste of a big body and slow. This past concussion draws HUGE red flags being that it was a soft lift to his jaw. I’d trade him right now. VERY excited about the Allen kid, looked great last night…kind of reminds me of a Minnie McD.

  5. nashernation - Dec 31, 2013 at 1:08 AM

    MDZ has to go.. He is hurting the blue shirts with the same mistakes over and over. I liked the composure Allen displayed and I could live with Faulk. He brings toughness to the back line. Moore has digressed a bit this year. I see a little MDZ in him. If Sather can steal a top 6 foward for MDZ that would be nice but far fetched.

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