Monday night when the Carolina Hurricanes visited the New York Rangers, it would have marked the first time in their careers that three of the four Staal brothers played in the same NHL game. While Eric Staal scored Carolina's only goal in their 2-1 shootout loss to the Rangers, and Jordan played 19:54, their brother Marc wasn't on the ice, and instead was in a suite inside Madison Square Garden with their parents, Henry and Linda.
The only defenseman in the family, Marc has been out of action since March 5 when he was hit with a puck above the right eye. He didn't speak with the media before or after Monday's game, but Eric and Jordan did provide updates.
Via Andrew Gross of the Bergen Record:
Eric Staal: "He looks a lot better. A lot of the blackness, and a lot of the stuff has cleared. His eyes are still obviously swollen in some areas but he looks a lot better and making progress in the right direction.”No timetable has been set for Marc's return, and while his vision isn't at 100-percent, the brothers sounded encouraged that he will be able to return to playing after making a full recovery.
The injury to Staal sparked the debate once again about whether or not visors should be mandatory for players. For now, it'll continue to remain a player's choice, but seeing an injury like that could spook anyone. Take for example Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik, who after playing over 600 NHL games decided to start sporting one days after Staal's injury saying, "I don't have a good excuse or a good answer [for not wearing a visor]. So I'm not even going to try to make one up."
A final decision has yet to be made made, but Eric and Jordan have spoken to their brother about putting a visor on, and got a little help from mom.
From Katie Strang of ESPN New York:
"We asked him. I think he's gonna wear one," Jordan said. "It really isn't a laughing matter, but I think he learned his lesson and is gonna throw one on."How does one say no to mom?
"My mom threw a few comments out, as usual, but Staals can be stubborn sometimes."