Marc Staal Has PlAYED 859 NHL Games...

I think we may have a loophole to get Marc Staal off the Rangers. Can someone check the CBA to see if a "No Move Clause" means a player cannot be fired into the sun?

Here's the Caps' last-minute, game-tying goal. Thanks to @hayyyshayyy for the GIF Hockey Making.

Yea the Caps should have received a too-many men penalty the previous shift. Shi(f)t happens. A lot goes wrong here, in all of 3 seconds. But Marc Staal Has Played 859 NHL Games, so let's see how his Experience drives this defensive effort.

Marc Staal, player of 859 NHL games, circled.

Marc Staal, player of 859 NHL games, circled.

At the start of the clip (0:00), Staal has chased Kuznetsov to the high slot. Kuznetsov's a left-hand shot, so that gives him a better shot angle, but [Steven Valiquette Voice] shots from that spot with one screen go in like 10% [i'm making this # up] of the time. Watch the GIF again and you can see Staal's mind and body struggling to decide between blocking a shot, and trying to intercept a pass to Backstrom. He does neither, but he certainly has set himself up as a nice screen for Hank if Kuznetsov does decide to shoot. Zibanejad has Oshie marked in the high slot, and Pionk is trying to prevent Eller from getting in the slot.

Marc Staal, player of 859 NHL games, circled.

Marc Staal, player of 859 NHL games, circled.

0:01. Staal doesn't stop the pass, and now a Player of 859 NHL Games would, you would assume, Hustle His Ass Back to the Slot He's Left Open. I mean, it's not like Backstrom is a good passer or anything. Backstrom is also a lefty shot, so he is in perfect position to move the puck to like 6 different options [including scoring on his own open net, but he's a passer not a shooter, and Staal is in perfect position to block that, so....]. Oshie has actually pulled up higher, and Zibanejad is planted in a reasonable spot. Eller has gotten position on Pionk. The stick in the bottom right is Ovechkin's.

Marc Staal, player of 859 NHL games, circled.

Marc Staal, player of 859 NHL games, circled.

0:02. Staal slllllllooooowwwwwwlly waddles his way back to the slot. Watch the GIF again because you'll think "this is the longest second in recorded time." But hey, Staal is doing a great job protecting the pass to...Zibanejad I guess? [GALAXY BRAIN: It's a brilliant defensive decision because Zibanejad has been scoring so much lately Backstrom could probably bank a goal in off him].

Pionk get's some WTF here too because he decides to back away from Eller, ass-first, and block a cross-crease pass to Ovechkin. A dumb decision, but it is Backstrom and Ovechkin, so you can at least understand why he might react that way. And if you watch the GIF closely, it almost looks like he's trying to play both guys at once, as he basically kneels to Hank's right, and kinda waves his glove at Eller as the pass comes. Perhaps if Staal was in the same zip code, he might have been more comfortable releasing Eller and covering Ovechkin. I think the other white jersey in the slot is Fast, and he's also caught in no man's land, never sure if he should go to Eller or Ovechkin. Of course, none of these decisions would need to be made if Staal just stood still before this play started. 

The rest of the clip is 3 seconds of Eller scoring, the Caps celebrating, and Hank ripping another chunk of his beautiful hair out.

So what difference does it make?

Marc Staal has played 859 NHL games (regular season and playoffs). He joined the league in 2007. Since that time, 105 defensemen have played over 10,000 regular-season minutes. Staal ranks:

  • 88th in raw Corsi +/- [-2611]
  • 83rd in CF% [45.40%]
  • 88th in raw xG+/- [-133.07]
  • 82nd in xGF% [45.34%]

(all unadjusted, from Corsica).

Has anyone checked that CBA yet?

...Again I'm right in my analysis.