Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman John Marino, who was put into the NHL’s COVID protocol on Wednesday, was back at practice Friday at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex.
Being put into that protocol does not specifically indicate a player has tested positive for the virus. It could be something related, such as a contact tracing issue. If Marino was at risk, or at risk of transmitting the virus to his teammates, he surely would not be back at practice this quickly.
Goodness, the Penguins might actually have some decisions to make in their lineup among defensemen for Saturday’s road game against the New York Islanders, considering Kris Letang and Mike Matheson are practicing. Letang missed Monday’s game and had been day-to-day because of a lower-body injury. Matheson had been out since the second game of the season because of an undisclosed injury.
Dan Kingerski profiled Matheson and his restart with the Penguins. The defenseman was injured in the second game of the season.
At practice on Friday, Marino rotated with top defenseman Kris Letang with the Penguins’ first power-play unit. Marino and P-O Joseph ran the PP1 on Monday against the New York Rangers. Marino played over 30 minutes in that game, while Joseph played nearly 26 in Letang’s absence.
Still on injured reserve are defensemen Brian Dumoulin, Marcus Pettersson, Juuso Riikola and Zach Trotman.