RALEIGH NC - JANUARY 29: Marc Staal #18 of the New York Rangers and Eric Staal #12 of the Carolina Hurricanes skate on the ice before the Honda NHL SuperSkills competition part of 2011 NHL All-Star Weekend at the RBC Center on January 29 2011 in Raleigh North Carolina. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
"I wouldn't say it has kept me awake at night, but it's tough," Eric Staal told NHL.com. "If I could take it back I probably wouldn't hit him knowing where we've gone and what has gone on since then. But it was one of those plays, bang-bang, happens so quickly, and I hit him hard."
The worst part is that Staal did not even know who he hit at first.
Eric said he didn't realize who he hit until immediately after the collision. He said he never has hit Marc that hard at any point in their long history of competing against one another, a history that began when they were pre-teens skating on the family farm in Thunder Bay, Ont.
Honestly, it seems clear to me that Eric meant no harm at all by his hit. The hope here is that Marc Staal can fully recover, and Eric Staal can be forgiven.
The article got me thinking, though, about the future of the Rangers season if Staal does return. If Staal returns, Dubinsky improves, and the Rangers possibly make a couple of moves, the Rangers look like a dangerous team.
Meanwhile, Brian Monzo says the Rangers are finding their groove.