Feb 23, 2013; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal (18) during the warm-up session before the first period against Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Did Marc Staal Suffer A Setback?

Marc Staal returned to the lineup for game three of the series, but since then he did not take part in game four or even skate at practices. Clearly something happened, but it’s premature to speculate what exactly. He did bang his head against the boards in game three after being checked, but he managed to play the rest of the way through.

Staal’s absence again leaves the Rangers with basically 5 defenseman. Steve Eminger last game was a liability and didn’t play at all during the third period. It’s not exactly a strategy for success (as we’ve witnessed last year) rolling 5 defenseman. One of two things need to occur though. Either Steve Eminger returns to not being a liability, or Staal can come back (again). Otherwise it will be very difficult for the Rangers to go far.

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