Having missed the last 14 games following surgery on his ankle, Marc Staal looks set to return to the line up tonight in the place of the injured Libor Hajek. Staal has been skating as part of the team’s full practice for the last week, and was going to force David Quinn to make a decision one way or another, but with Hajek spraining his knee last night in Colunbus, the decision made itself.
Staal will join a defensive corps that gave up 47 shots last night, and looked completely out of their depth against the forward pressure that Columbus brought. In the second to last year of his current contract, he was a healthy scratch for the first time in his career just before he had surgery, and unless he can turn around his game, he’s likely to be part of a platoon arrangement on the left side.
In his absence, Ryan Lindgren has established himself as a first choice starter, while Brady Skjei has improved his game too…though with the overall performances still leaving something to be desired, it’s safe to say that no one can count on a start each night.