Penguins notebook: Dumoulin, Bennett game time decisions against Devils
March 23, 2016 2:22 PM
“I want to play. I want to help this team,” Brian Dumoulin said.
By Jenn Menendez and Seth Rorabaugh / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Defenseman Brian Dumoulin skated in a full practice with the Penguins today, which is a good indication that he may not miss any game time at all.
Dumoulin suffered an undisclosed injury after a hard hit by Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin on Sunday, but said he felt good after today’s practice.
Coach Mike Sullivan confirmed that he will be a game time decision Thursday against the Devils.
“He looked pretty good [today]. All reports were that he felt really strong,” Sullivan said. “We’ll see how he responds, it will be a game time decision.”
Dumoulin admitted he initially feared the worst but believes he is fortunate that the injury turned out to be nothing serious.
“He’s a tank out there, he’s a big guy. When he’s coming full speed, if he hits you anywhere, it’s going to hurt,” Dumoulin said. “It’s good it was nothing serious … If I could’ve gotten up I would have. I wish I could have skated that off. But I feel good now, and it was good to be out there with the guys.”
Dumoulin has not yet missed a game this season, having played in all 72.
“I want to play. I want to help this team,” Dumoulin said. “We’re doing some really good things right now. We’re on a pretty good run, and it’s fun to be a part of. I want to do everything I can to help that and to continue our streak here.”
If Dumoulin can’t play, it would open the door for Ben Lovejoy or Derrick Pouliot.
Forward Beau Bennett will also be a game time decision Thursday, Sullivan said.
“Beau was very similar, he had a good practice. The reports came back that he felt strong,” Sullivan said. “We’ll see how he responds [Thursday], and we’ll probably make a game time decision with that as well.”
Up to speed
Recalled last Friday, rookie center Oskar Sundqvist has played the last two games on the fourth line with Conor Sheary at left wing and Eric Fehr at right wing.
He said this most recent recall is different from his first recall in February.
“I know what’s coming during the game,” Sundqvist said. “I know it’s coming with a ton of speed up here. I’m not getting surprised by that any more. That’s maybe the best thing to be called the second time. You know you’re not going to be surprised by the speed by now. That was the one thing that hit me the most the first time I was called up. Definitely speed, how quick everyone was and how fast everyone was.”
Former Penguins assistant coach Mike Eaves was fired as Wisconsin’s men’s coach last week after 14 years with that program. Wisconsin finished this season in last place of the Big Ten with a record of 8-19-8.
Penguins defenseman Justin Schultz played three seasons at Wisconsin for Eaves.
“It’s tough to hear,” Schultz said. “He’s one of my favorite coaches ever. He did such a great job there. I don’t know what went wrong or what. If it was his fault. I don’t like hearing that. I talked to a couple of guys [former teammates], and they’re pretty upset about it. But he’ll be fine."
Schultz was a member of Wisconsin’s 2009-10 team, which lost in the national championship game to Boston College.
"He was such a great college coach,” Schultz said. “He knew how to coach the kids there. Balance school and hockey. He was a great motivator. Obviously, he won a national championship [in 2006]. Took us to the finals. He was tremendous.”
Eaves spent parts of three seasons with the Penguins in the 1990s under head coach Kevin Constantine.
Jenn Menendez: email@example.com and Twitter @JennMenendez. Seth Rorabaugh: firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter @emptynetters.
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