The Penguins took to the ice on Tuesday afternoon out in Los Angel-eze and the first player to step onto the ice surface was a happy sight indeed.
John Marino is the first player on the ice for #Pens practice wearing a full face shield. He has missed the last 8 games after undergoing surgery to repair facial bone fractures. -MC— Pens Inside Scoop (@PensInsideScoop) February 25, 2020
John Marino will likely be using the extra face protection for a while upon his return. He was announced out at 3-6 weeks just over two weeks ago. So he could be trending towards the earlier end of that window, and getting back on the ice with the team is certainly a good sign.
That wasn’t all of the good news though, as another defenseman re-joined the team for the first time too.
That would be Brian Dumoulin. pic.twitter.com/tBnXUZm41b— Dave Molinari (@MolinariPGH) February 25, 2020
Brian Dumoulin has been out for nearly three months now following his ankle getting cut in a game. Both Dumoulin and Marino were wearing white no contact jerseys.
But just being out there is a good indication why general manager Jim Rutherford didn’t want to pay the high prices to add a rental defenseman. Rutherford mentioned in his post-trade deadline comments that this past weekend he received positive medical reports on both Dumoulin and Marino. That also played into the Penguins’ decision to not add any further defenders.
In not-so-good news, Jared McCann wasn’t on the ice for practice and we are nearing “maintenance day season” where players will be absent more frequently to rest and recover for the stretch, so we’ll see if that’s the case here.
Either way, Pittsburgh needed a boost of their personnel on defense and they got a sign that it’s soon to come for them via injury recovery.
The forward lines show that it’s not going to take long for Conor Sheary to have a prime opportunity to showcase himself.
#Pens lines:— Josh Getzoff (@PensJG) February 25, 2020
(McCann isn’t on the ice)