What was first called a "stiff neck" has now been revealed to be a concussion for Rangers blueliner Marc Staal. Coach Alain Vigneault has told reporters that it is "not as severe" as the concussion that held Marc Staal out of the lineup for thirty-seven games in the 2011-12 season.
"Marc has been diagnosed with a concussion," Vigneault said. "He's being watched by our doctors. They don't feel it's as serious as what he might have had in the past. He's feeling better and we'll take it day by day." -Vigneault
Marc Staal has shown glimpses of the player that became an All-Star this season and has looked as good as he has looked since his first concussion and eye injury but he, like so many other Rangers, has struggled. Staal has scored just two goals and registered one assist in the thirty games he has played this season. There's no telling how long Staal will be out of the lineup but you can count on the Rangers playing this very cautiously considering Staal's history with concussions.
Although Alain Vigneault reassured the media that Staal is feeling good and that this concussion isn't as serious as the one he suffered in 2011-12 there is obviously a great deal of concern for Staal's health and when he can return to the Rangers lineup.
"They don't feel it's a serious as the one he had in the past and he's feeling better," said Vigneault. "He's been in contact with [neurologist Dr. Jeffrey Scott Kutcher] who we've used in the past, but he doesn't feel the need to see him at this point." -Vigneault
All concussions, no matter how moderate they might appear at first glance, must be taken seriously and that is just how the Rangers are going to take this one. For now the Rangers will stick with their current blueliners and, because of the close proximity of Hartford during their current home-stand, simply call up a defenseman should the need arise. In other words, be prepared for Justin Falk, Michael Del Zotto, and John Moore to be in the lineup on a regular basis until Staal returns or the Rangers turn to Conor Allen or one of their veteran blueliners in the AHL to shake things up.
If there are any developments on this story we will be sure to let you guys know.