Pittsburgh Penguins rookie Bryan Rust has been a revelation in the postseason, scoring six goals in 18 postseason games, more than the four he scored in 41 regular season matches. On Tuesday, coach Mike Sullivan said that the winger is day-to-day and still being evaluated following a check from San Jose’s Patrick Marleau that involved head contact.
Following the hit on Monday, Rust went through concussion protocol, returned to the game, and then pulled himself, as he apparently did not feel quite right.
Rust did not participate in the team’s optional practice on Tuesday, but skated in a track suit with Coach Sullivan after the optional. Sullivan did not say whether Rust would be available for Game 2.
The Department of Player Safety ruled Tuesday that the head contact was incidental and that it required no supplementary discipline for Marleau.
Though he’s not a top tier forward, Rust has been scoring crucial goals for the Pens lately, including four goals in the last three games, two of which were elimination games. That includes the Game 7 clinching goal against the Lightning. Losing him would hurt the team’s depth, which is a big part of why they are in the Stanley Cup Final. Being able to roll four lines has been a key to their success.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.