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Penguins’ practice updates, John Marino to have surgery

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Some mixed news coming out of Pens practice today

Pittsburgh Penguins v Washington Capitals Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images

The Penguins had a fairly eventful practice on Monday, finally back at home after an extended road trip. Here’s how they looked for lines:

These lines look about the ideal for what they have left. Jared McCann has no goals and three assists in the last eight games, which is going to necessitate a bit of a shakeup. The added plus is these moves swap Bryan Rust to his natural right wing, which should do him some good in this move as well.

Now, the update portion after practice from Mike Sullivan:

The big news is that John Marino will in fact require surgery to fix what’s believed to be multiple fractures in his cheek. And while that sounds nasty, it’s not really a huge blow for an NHL player:

Still, Marino will be out multiple weeks and when he returns likely have vision-impacting additional face-wear on his helmet. But, it’s lucky that his injury is more cheek than jaw, which is a more serious surgical repair that takes longer to return from. As mentioned in my research, Troy Brouwer missed about three weeks a couple of seasons ago after a similar-sounding surgery on a broken cheek, meaning it could be around the beginning of March in a best-case scenario to see Marino again.

The other news-

Kahun at least did skate on his own, which is a nice — if small — step forward for the winger recovering from a concussion. Obviously that can’t be rushed but it’s encouraging that at least he was feeling well enough to skate today, with the test coming to see if he can build on that and get it again tomorrow.

Whispers abound about what is happening with Nick Bjugstad, it looked like he was making normal progress and recovery from the same type of surgery that Zach Trotman and Sidney Crosby have gone through this season for the core (that’s sometimes called a sports hernia, despite not really being a hernia). But Bjugstad has been away from public eye for a while. Sullivan usually tacks on a positive note of “progression” like he did here, but Bjugstad hasn’t visibly progressed all that much and now is 11+ weeks out from a minimum eight week injury without being looking very close to returning, unlike Trotman and Crosby who had returned by this point. There’s nothing substantiated at this point though and no real reason to believe any extreme, unsourced “worst case” type of rumors if the official team stance differs from it.

Likewise, Dumoulin’s process of recovery hasn’t yet advanced to getting back on the ice yet which is a bit disappointing but not 100% unexpected. Either way, it’s going to be tough sledding for the near future with two of the Pens’ best defensemen on the shelf in Dumoulin and Marino for the next foreseeable period of time.