Staal improving

December, 13, 2013
12/13/13
1:47
PM ET
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Marc Staal appears to be making significant progress less than a week after sustaining a concussion.

According to coach Alain Vigneault, Staal has resumed physical activity and has done three straight days of off-ice conditioning.

"As far as I know, he's been doing really well," Vigneault said. "I'm not sure what the next steps are but he's been working out off the ice."

Considering the team's current injury situation -- they were without Staal, Ryan Callahan (knee) and Derick Brassard (posterior) in Thursday's 4-2 loss -- and the gaping hole on defense in Staal's absence -- the team has surrendered four goals in each of their past four games -- this news is a positive development.

It also has to be a massive relief for Staal, who has had a tremendously unfortunate rash of bad injury luck over the past two seasons.

He missed 36 games in 2011-12 with the lingering effects of a serious concussion and he missed more than half of a lockout-shortened 2013 with a severe eye injury.

Staal has missed three games since sustaining the concussion on a hit from New Jersey's Reid Boucher in the third period of Saturday's 4-2 OT loss to the Devils.
Katie Strang covers the NHL for ESPN.com. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
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