Originally posted on Blue Seat Blogs  |  Last updated 1/15/13

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 3: Marc Staal #18 of the New York Rangers skates during the third period against the Ottawa Senators at Madison Square Garden on October 3, 2009 in New York City. The Rangers defeated the Senators 5-2. (Photo by Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images)
A return to All Star form by Marc Staal would be huge for the Rangers While everyone in the media who’ve analysed the Rangers point to Henrik Lundqvist in net and Marian Gaborik, Rick Nash and Brad Richards up front as the critical components for a successful season, people have somewhat forgotten about the defense. Even when people have talked Rangers defense it’s invariably been about the now resolved Michael Del Zotto contract situation. Of course, rightly so, all the aforementioned names will be critical to the Rangers season, but people need to remember just how good a certain Marc Staal was not so long ago. People assume Marian Gaborik will benefit from the lockout and of course he has and will. Healthy, refreshed and with more offensive help, Gaborik should be in line for a strong season again. But perhaps no Ranger will have benefited from the extra time off more than Marc Staal. Staal is a workhorse who didn’t look himself when he returned from his long layoff last year. Wi...
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