Friday, November 11, 2011

Despite Injury To Marc Staal, Eric Did Nothing Wrong

There seems to be a sentiment running through at least part of the New York Rangers fan community that booing Eric Staal or even a Rangers’ player going after him is warranted when the Rangers take on the Hurricanes tonight.  Neither is deserved nor will it do anything to get Marc Staal back on the ice any sooner.  You can play up the hit as much as you like Larry Brooks of the NY Post did in his column this morning, but it was a legal check that unfortunately had a bad result for Marc.  From Brooks…
But it will be Eric, the concussing captain of the Hurricanes and not Marc, the concussed alternate captain of the Rangers, who has been sidelined all year in the aftermath of the unbrotherly blow he sustained in Carolina on Feb. 22 of last season.

That’s where older brother, Eric, who leveled his younger brother with a mean, high, albeit not penalized hit at 19:10 of the second period of that fateful game in Raleigh, visited Marc this week after the Hurricanes played in New Jersey on Tuesday.
These statements are geared at creating a sense of hatred towards Eric that is not truly deserved.  Dan Girardi had it right when he told Andrew Gross of The Record
"It’s kind of a weird situation," said Dan Girardi, Marc Staal’s longtime defense partner. "We’ll see how it goes on the ice. It was a freak thing. Obviously, it was not his intent to injure him."
Those looking to damn Eric for the result instead of the play itself have the wrong perspective here.  If it had be a dirty hit, then I would be all for booing him, though never intentionally look to injure anyway, but that is not the case here.  Eric made the play he is supposed to make against any opponent in the NHL and the Rangers will do the same to him tonight.  You hit hard and clean while hoping the results are not what Marc is currently fighting.

According to Pat Leonard of the Daily News, Paul Maurice does not believe Eric was actually the one who concussed Marc.
"It was a clean hit, & his brother came back & played, so to me, he's not the reason there's a concussion."
While I am against booing Eric for the result of his hit, this faulty logic by Paul Maurice deserves to get severely booed.  Just because Marc played after the hit does not mean he did not get a concussion from the hit.