Staal stated it was going to be difficult to sit out a playoff game. However, he was able to practice with the team on Thursday and felt comfortable while doing so. He explained that he has seen all situations in practice and is attempting to regain his confidence. Staal's main concern is being a positive contributor for the team. Noting how successful the defense corps has been of late, Staal doesn't want to compromise their production by returning prematurely.
Staal has missed 27 games since being struck in the face with a deflected shot against the Philadelphia Flyers on March 5. He experienced facial fractures and eyesight impairments as residual effects of the incident. While his fractures have healed, his eyesight has yet to fully return and peripheral vision has been noted as an issue.