Over at Blueshirts United, Jim Cerny reports that Marc Staal's conditioning and on-ice play look stronger by the day, and he got a great workout Monday defending against the Rangers top power play unit in the second part of practice.
Here's Staal on his status...
"I haven't written myself off," Staal said of possibly playing at some point against in the Capitals series. "As of right now I have not made a decision one way or the other. Just every day I get more work in and try and improve and get ready."
...yesterday, I was convinced that Staal would not be available for the series, but this report has at least given me a glimmer of hope. Different perceptions of Staal's injury from the beat writers is making it tough to gauge his status. To me the main concern is obviously whether he's comfortable with his vision. Even if he has a minor doubt, I hope he's kept out of the line-up.
Here's Staal on those concerns (via New York Post)...
“It’s not a 100-percent kind of thing,” Staal said, “but I have to get to the point where I’m confident and comfortable that I can play my game and not put myself in a position where I’m physically vulnerable because I’m not reacting quickly enough to the speed of the game around me.
“Some days have been better than others.”
You have to wonder how much just getting back from a long-term shut-down from a concussion is making him be more level headed about this. Earlier he was talking about tracking passes and playing pucks along the boards because his depth perception was off. But when he's making comments about not reacting to the speed of the game, you have to wonder if he's afraid of getting "blindsided" because his blind-side is now larger than it used to be.
Maybe all this concussion talk the past few years IS starting to cause the players to be more aware after all.
Man this is a slippery slope. Staal's a big boy, and if he's comfortable playing with less than 100% vision then that's his choice, to an extent. At least he's been honest and hasn't tried to pretend like he's 100% to get himself back in the lineup. But to be honest, if his vision isn't 100%, I'd like to see the Rangers shut him down. All this talk about getting used to his blurred vision is scary. Seems too risky to me.
@boogiepicker I feel exactly the same way.