It sure seem like good news. The Pittsburgh Penguins were reportedly waiting on injury updates, specifically to defensemen John Marino and Brian Dumoulin to fully asses their trade deadline needs.
It certainly seems like the Penguins received good news on Saturday morning. Prior to the Penguins game against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday afternoon af PPG Paints Arena, head coach Mike Sullivan admitted both Dumoulin and Marino will travel with the team on the coming road trip, which begins Sunday in Washington D.C.
Dumoulin, who is a team leader, has been skating, but Marino came as a bit of a surprise.
“It’s a win-win for everybody, but it also suggests he’s getting closer to his return,” Sullivan said. “All of those guys will travel with us (Dumoulin, Nick Bjugstad), and John Marino will travel as well. That’s encouraging from that standpoint.”
Dumoulin hasn’t played since Nov. 30 against the St. Louis Blues when a skate blade severed tendons in his leg. The team estimated his recovery time at eight weeks or more.
Marino suffered a broken cheekbone and required surgery last week. Doctors projected him to be out 3-6 weeks.
But Sullivan downplayed any positive medical diagnoses.
“I don’t know how you look at it. It’s not even news for us,” Sullivan said. “This is just the process.”
Of course, the process was said to have a direct impact on the Penguins trade deadline decisions, too. It’s a good sign that Marino, Bjugstad, and Dumoulin traveling with the team on the four-game trip, which begins in Washington before touring California in LA, Anaheim, and San Jose.
Marino had assumed a top-four role before his injury. The rookie defenseman has 25 points (5g, 20a) in 51 games. Dumoulin is generally the anchor of the Penguins blue line. He balances top-defenseman Kris Letang.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have back-to-back afternoon games beginning Saturday against Buffalo at PPG Paints Arena and Sunday against their arch-rival Washington Capitals. Before the games on Saturday, the Penguins and Washington are tied atop the Metro Division with 80 points.