Originally posted on Blue Seat Blogs  |  Last updated 2/18/12

NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 04: Marc Staal #18 of the New York Rangers celebrates against the Washington Capitals on February 4, 2010 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Naturally, after the prolonged absence through concussion Marc Staal needed some time to get back in to game shape and find his rhythm on the ice once more. Recently, there has been some signs Staal is getting back to being the quality defenseman that he is, however progress has been slow. Staal isn’t playing as physically as normal, isn’t taking shots when the opportunity arises and isn’t using the puck effectively. Staal’s passing ability in previous seasons, while not elite, was underrated. Above all though, Staal has been tentative, particularly along the boards and his decision making hasn’t been as sharp as we have grown accustomed to. How long is long enough to ease your way back? Is 20 games an expected time frame? It goes without saying that a Rangers team with Marc Staal in his All Star form is a scary animal for any team in the East playoffs. Staal makes it a team with effectively three quality shutdown defenseman (alongside Girardi and McDonagh) and that isn’t factoring ...
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