The Rangers officially released an update on Marc Staal's condition after he was hit in the eye with a puck in the third period of yesterday's game against the Flyers.
The statement reads:
"Following an injury suffered in last night's game vs. Philadelphia, Marc Staal was examined today in New York by Dr. Mark Fromer, ophthalmologist, and Dr. Mendel Markowitz, maxillofacial surgeon. The injury has improved significantly and both doctors are optimistic that Marc will make a full recovery. Staal will be sidelined indefinitely."
While the statement doesn't go into a great deal of detail, it's still obviously great to hear that the doctors feel that Staal will come out of this injury fine. Earlier in the day, Marc's brother Eric Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes told NHL.com that he spoke to his brother this morning and said that he is waiting for the swelling around his eye to go down before they can learn more about the injury. Eric did say that Marc "was in OK spirits" after the injury when he spoke to him on the phone.
There was also a rumor earlier in the day going around that Staal won't require surgery, but the Rangers have yet to confirm that themselves.
How long the Rangers will be without Staal is anyone's guess. In addition to checking out his vision and making sure there are no broken bones in his face, the Rangers will also likely look to rule out any signs of a concussion after Staal missed 36 games last season while recovering from a concussion (coincidentally thanks to his brother Eric). I think it's safe to say, however, that they'll at the very least be without him for a few weeks in a best-case scenario. That means the Rangers will need to rely on Michael Del Zotto and Anton Stralman to pick things up and log heavy minutes for the foreseeable future, while last year's super-pair of Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi will likely be reunited and will need to be the shutdown machine they proved to be last year. McDonagh's game has slipped a bit this season, especially in recent weeks, but he'll need to go back to being at his best while the Rangers are without Staal. Newly-acquired Roman Hamrlik and Steve Eminger will also need to prove to be a competent third D-pairing, as well.
More tomorrow morning when the Rangers resume practicing before taking on the Islanders at 7 p.m.