The Pittsburgh Penguins have announced that Teddy Blueger, Tristan Jarry, John Marino, Mike Matheson, Evan Rodrigues, and Dominik Simon have all been added to the COVID protocol and are currently unavailable. Jake Guentzel will also miss practice with a non-COVID illness.
Losing those six is obviously a huge blow, but it wasn’t all doom and gloom at Penguins practice today. Bryan Rust and Evgeni Malkin both took the ice in regular black sweaters, indicating they’ve been cleared for full contact and are approaching a return to action.
Pittsburgh is on a seven-game win stream and has climbed their way back into the Metropolitan playoff mix, sitting now just four points out of first place. While they will now have to patchwork a lineup together, the rest of the NHL is in a similar boat. Malkin hasn’t played yet this season after undergoing offseason surgery and should offer a significant boost when he does return to the lineup. Rust, meanwhile, missed all of December and has played in just 12 games so far.