RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Henry and Linda Staal will be able to don at least one NHL jersey in this season’s Stanley Cup Finals. But the question is, which one, as Jordan, with the Carolina Hurricanes, faces off with Eric and Marc, of the Florida Panthers.
Remember the meme of Charlie Day from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia when he’s trying to explain Pepe Silvia? That’s probably where a lot of people are at when keeping track of the Staal brother’s careers.
Jordan, Eric and Marc have all played in more than 1,000 games each and have combined to skate for eight total teams, some overlapping, and at times, even with each other.
Exhibit A, Eric and Marc joining the Panthers this offseason. But this isn’t something unfamiliar to Jordan, who has gone against both his brothers previously in the NHL’s postseason.
Jordan eventually won the Stanley Cup Final in 2009 with the Pittsburgh Penguins when he faced off against Eric, at the time a member of Carolina, in the Eastern Conference Final.
Jordan also went against Marc as a member of the Penguins, but in 2008, when Marc played for the New York Rangers. They again met in 2020 when Jordan was a captain for Carolina and Marc was with Detroit. The two dueled in the second round and quarterfinals, respectively.
However, it is the first time in all 16 seasons the trio has been in the NHL that they’ll compete in the same playoff series.
The Hurricanes won the Metropolitan Division and finished the regular season with 113 points, good for a 52-21-9 record. Meanwhile, Florida just snuck into the postseason with 92 points, good for a 42-32-8 record. The Panthers ended up getting a lot of help from the second-to-last-place team in the Western Conference down the stretch, the Chicago Blackhawks, who handed the Pittsburgh Penguins a pivotal loss that helped give Florida the one-point final placing gap.
Carolina would have had the best record in the NHL if it weren’t for the Boston Bruins, who finished with an NHL all-time best 65-12-5 record and 135 points.
But, it was Florida who knocked out the Bruins in the opening-round upset.
The Panthers, 42 points behind the Bruins, scored with less than one minute remaining in the third period of Game 7 and then won the entire series in overtime after coming back from a 3-1 deficit in the entire series.
The segway of Florida defeating the Bruins, and then the Toronto Maple Leafs have set the Staal brothers up for a date with Jordan, who with Carolina, have handily defeated the New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils in his team’s first two rounds.
In the 2023 playoffs, Jordan has two goals and six assists in 11 games. The captain is projected to be the third-line center for the upcoming series with Florida that will pair him with right-winger Martin Necas and returning left-winger Teuvo Teravainen.
For Eric, he has one goal and assist apiece in the postseason, while chipping in with a 40 percent faceoff winning percentage. He is projected to be a fourth-line center for the upcoming series with Carolina alongside right-winger Colin White and sneaky, emerging left-winger Ryan Lomberg.
Finally, for Marc, he is often overshadowed by linemate Brandon Montour who sees first-unit power-play time. But the left defenseman is projected to be on the second line and specialize again in shot-blocking and hits.
Game 1 of this series kicks off Thursday at 8 p.m. in Raleigh.