These last few years haven’t been easy for New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal. From dealing with a serious concussion to a scary eye injury, he’s had to work hard just to keep his career on track. He was finally able to turn a corner in 2013-14 by playing in 72 regular season games and another 20 in the playoffs.
He might not be the flashiest of players, but he’s been logging big minutes in the Rangers postseason run. Now he’s reached the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in his career.
Raising the Cup is something his brothers Eric and Jordan Staal were able to do early in their careers with the 2006 Carolina Hurricanes and 2009 Pittsburgh Penguins respectively. Marc was there when his siblings got their time with the Cup and even took some pictures with it, but per NHL tradition, he avoided touching it. Just four more wins and that will change.
“We all want to see him get it done,” Eric Staal told Newsday. “What he’s gone through the past few years, not just physically but mentally, it’s great to see him not just playing for a Cup but being such a big part of it for them.”
If Marc and the Rangers manage to pull it off, then they will become the first trio of brothers to individually win the Stanley Cup as players. The Sutter brothers are the closest equivalent as Duane, Brent, and Darryl have each won the Cup, but Darryl accomplished that feat as a coach, not a player.
Marc’s close to making it happen, but he knows it’s far from a lock. The Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks will play in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final tonight. The winner of that game is sure to be a tough opponent for the Rangers.