Thursday, December 1, 2011

Marc Staal Expects To Be Back This Season, Admits Mishandled Situation Last Season

Injured New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal skated again today, but this time he wasn't alone as he skated with Mike Rupp this morning in Carolina.  Following the workout Staal met with reporters for the first time since September 30.  Here are the highlights via Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants:
On how long has he been symptom-free: “It’s been a couple of weeks. I’ve had a lot of good days, I’ll still have a bad day mixed in there once in a while. You just adapt and adjust. I feel when I’ve had a not-so-good day, the improvement the next day has been basically back to normal again and then we just kind of monitor it and go from there.”
This is both a very positive not, but also one of caution for those looking to rush Staal back into the lineup.  The fact that while symptom free he is having bad days means there is still some time before he will be close to ready.
On whether he should have handled it differently last season after the hit by Eric Staal and not played the rest of the season: “Obviously I think, looking back, personally I would have taken more time. I sugarcoated a lot of things and told myself I was fine and I did feel good. I wasn’t feeling 100 percent. But at that point it was my decision to get going. I don’t know if I’d be in the same situation now if I was, it’s hard to tell, it’s all looking back. It’s been a long journey since.”
Staal's understanding that he mishandled the situation last season is critical to his recovery now as he is unlikely to rush again.  This also explains, to some extent, how he was back in the lineup after the initial concussion, but the reporting was that he did not have serious lingering issues until the summer. 

On whether there’s resentment toward Eric Staal because of the hit: “No, not at all. I put that behind me, maybe the day after it happened, not right away, I was pretty upset. It was tough because it was my brother and it’s a whole different situation when that happens and you get hit hard like that and get injured. We play hard against each other, that’s just the way we play. I play the same against Jordan. I caught Jordan in a hit and it could have gone a different way than it did and that’s just the way it is. We understand that’s the game and we’re not going to take it easy on ourselves just because we are brothers and if we did it would be noticeable and people wouldn’t be very happy about that. We understand it’s a game. It’s been tough but we’ve been fine.”
This is a lesson that Rangers fans can learn from to stop the undeserved booing of Eric Staal that went on in New York last month.

For the rest of Staal's comments be sure to check out Ranger Rants.