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Ask a Ranger at Worlds -- Marc Staal

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
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Rangers defenseman Marc Staal is in Germany this month, playing for Team Canada at the IIHF World Championship tournament.

Earlier this week, we invited fans to submit questions for Staal here on, and he was gracious enough to take time out of his schedule to respond to a few that we passed along to him. Here are the questions and his answers:

Vanessa from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, asks:

How do you like being in Germany at this time of year, and are you keeping up with NHL news or watching the Stanley Cup playoffs over there?

Staal's response:

Obviously, I would still like to be be playing in the playoffs right now with the Rangers, but it has been a lot of fun so far (minus the rain), and I have been following the NHL mostly by watching scores and highlights on the Internet.

Amy Herman from Bayside, N.Y, asks:

How will this experience at the World Championship help prepare you for next season?

Staal's response:

I think any time you get to play at an elite level in a tournament like this, where you're playing elimination games and when the stakes are high, you improve as a player. This tournament has been intense so far, and that intensity will only go up.

Robert from Lanoka Harbor, N.J., asks:

Being considered one the best shut-down defensemen on the Rangers and in the league, how much stress do you feel during a game against a top forward from another team? Is something like your own reputation even on your mind when you're playing?

Staal's response:

I rarely feel stress before going into a game knowing I'll be playing against a certain player or line. I see it more as a challenge, and I know if I can do my job as best I can in shutting them down, then I'll give our team a better chance of winning the game.

Marc Juergensohn from Mannheim, Germany, asks:

Have you had time to do some sightseeing in Mannheim or Heidelberg?

Staal's response:

I honestly haven't had a chance to do that yet at all, but I have heard there are some great things to see and do here, and I hope to be able to get out and do that at some point while I'm here. Right now the focus is really on hockey.

Bill from Edison, N.J., asks:

Which NHL defensemen (current or retired) do you think your game most closely resembles?

Staal's response:

I really have a tough time answering this question, but if I have to say someone, I'd probably pick Rob Blake, who was one of my favorite defenseman growing up. I think he is still a great two way defenseman who has had a great career.
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