On Tuesday, New York announced that defenseman Marc Staal has been diagnosed with a concussion stemming from a hit on Saturday from Devils forward Reid Boucher.
“[Staal has been] diagnosed with a concussion,” head coach Alain Vigneault explained. “Doctors feel it isn’t as serious as in the past.”
Staal, 26, has a long history with concussion and head injuries. He missed 36 games during the 2011-12 campaign with a concussion following a hit from his brother, Eric, and missed 27 games during the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign after taking a puck to the eye against Philadelphia.
As a result, Staal has played sparingly over the last two years and had some difficulty reclaiming the form that saw him score 29 points in 77 games during the 2010-11 campaign, averaging over 25 minutes per.
He currently has just two goals and one assist through 30 games this year, and is averaging under 20 minutes TOI — one of the lowest totals of his career.
The Rangers originally said Staal was being treated for a stiff neck following the Devils game — he missed Sunday’s loss to Washington — so it’ll be interesting to see how his recovery will be handled. The Rangers are in the midst of a record-long nine-game homestand and Vigneault has been critical of his team’s defense this season, Staal included.