It’s crazy to think of how wild Marc Staal’s season has been. He missed the first half of the season dealing with concussion-like symptoms stemming from a hit from his brother Eric Staal last season. He made his season debut on the big stage of the Winter Classic in Philadelphia and last night he scored the game-winning goal for the Rangers in Game 5.
As ESPN-New York’s Katie Strang hears it from Staal, the long road to recovery has been a fulfilling one for him.
“I’m certainly feeling better and better,” Staal said of his progress since making his long-awaited season debut in the Winter Classic on Jan. 2. “As the year has gone on, I’ve felt better and better. Playoffs are a lot of fun and I’m having fun with it.”
Staal’s minutes have been huge in the postseason. He’s averaging 25:20 in ice time, good for third on the team behind Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi. With two goals and three assists in the playoffs, he’s adding a little scoring punch to his defensive prowess as well. With how low scoring the Rangers are, getting five points from a blue liner makes for a great bonus.
Starting your season at the Winter Classic makes for a late beginning, but Staal would love to close the year out lifting the Stanley Cup. If he keeps playing like this, it might just happen.
Ken Appleby never got drafted, but his efforts during the New Jersey Devils’ training camp have earned him an entry-level contract, per the Bergen Record.
Although no team saw it fit to take him before the preseason, the 20-year-old is coming off of a very strong season. He had a 2.08 GAA and .924 save percentage in 50 games with the OHL’s Oshawa Generals. He went on to lead them to a Memorial Cup championship and earned the the Hap Emms Memorial Trophy as the tournament’s top goalie.
Appleby is the fifth goaltender the Devils have under contract after Cory Schneider, Keith Kinkaid, Scott Wedgewood, and Yann Danis. He’ll likely begin the season in the ECHL.
Alexandre Goulet and Jacob Sweeney also participated in the Devils’ training camp on an amateur tryout basis, but both of them have been released.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Some of the NHL’s top players discuss Connor McDavid‘s potential and the hype surrounding him. (Toronto Sun)
While we’re on the subject, Wayne Gretzky recalls what it was like for him going into the NHL and what’s in store for McDavid. (Edmonton Sun)
Sam Gagner is about to start a key season in his career. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
It’s time for the Washington Capitals to make some tough calls, particularly when it comes to Derek Roy. (CSN Mid-Atlantic)
With Raffi Torres hearing scheduled for today, here’s a look back at his suspension history. (San Jose Mercury News)
The Chicago Blackhawks have gotten their championship rings. (NHL.com)