The Pittsburgh Penguins took the ice this morning for a normal practice. The battered and beaten team has a few days between games, so today would be a routine workout to get through the paces and stay sharp in a badly needed period of rest.
Unfortunately what should have been a quiet and mostly uneventful day ended up having complications, as Patric Hornqvist may have picked up a lower body injury and had to at least exit practice early after taking a fall. However, coach Mike Sullivan did offer a few relatively positive updates:
#Pens injury updates...— Pens Inside Scoop (@PensInsideScoop) December 2, 2019
-Rust is day-to-day with lower-body.
-Hornqvist fell in practice today. Being evaluated for lower-body.
-Schultz (LB) has been skating and next step will be to join practice. Expected to be soon.
It’s getting tough to keep track, but Bryan Rust got hurt in a pre-game skate on Friday, causing him to miss the last two games. He did not practice with the team today, but it’s certainly encouraging that the first real update on him 72 hours after his injury is that is seems to be on the minor side. We’ll see if that means minor enough to get back and ready for games later this week or not, but a day-to-day classification is very good there.
The good news continued with an update on Justin Schultz, there had been almost no update on his status or condition until now. Schultz was injured on November 19th (which will be two weeks ago tomorrow) and has been absent ever since. It seemed his departure might have been on the longer side, but re-joining the team within the next few days for practice is a big boost.
And this all goes without mentioning Sidney Crosby, Nick Bjugstad and Brian Dumoulin who have all recently had surgery and none are expected back within the foreseeable future.
Jared McCann on the reaction when another key player goes down: "At this point, you just have to smile. I mean, well, shit." #Pens— Wes Crosby (@OtherNHLCrosby) December 2, 2019
There’s been a lot of laughing then.
Keep an eye on the call-up news, as if neither Hornqvist nor Rust can play on Wednesday the team will be needing a forward from Wilkes-Barre to have the normal compliment of 12 bodies there. If by Wednesday there is no news on that, it is probably good news as far as the availability for one (if not both) or Rust/Hornqvist.