Number of games: 13
First Game: December 2nd
Conference Breakdown: 10 vs. East/3 vs. West
vs. Metro Division: 5
Highlights: It took two months but the Battle of Pennsylvania returns with a home-and-home to open December...No late nights to worry about in December...Ten games against Eastern Conference opponents compared to just three against the West...Longest homestand is two games, longest road trip is three...If you’re looking to get away before the holidays there are a pair of nice road trips if you want to include some Penguins hockey...Ringing in the new year with a back-to-back at PPG.
—A home-and-home Battle of Pennsylvania series series with the Flyers is a fun way to begin the month. This will be the first meeting between the two sides and by this point we should have a good idea the direction the two sides are headed. Flyers are still in clear rebuild mode so if the Penguins hope to be contenders these will be games they need to win. Plus it’s always fun to beat the Flyers.
—If you’re looking to treat yourself to an early Christmas present that includes Penguins hockey then you’re in luck. December offers two unique road trips perfect for any Penguins fan. If you’re looking to escape the winter cold, head down to Florida to see the Penguins take on the Lightning and Panthers. If you don’t mind the cold and want a deep dive into hockey history, grab your passport and head north for showdowns with the Canadiens and Maple Leafs.
—December is a very heavy Eastern Conference month compared to October and November. With 10 games against the East, the Penguins will have a big chance to put themselves in a good spot standings wise heading into the new year. Of those 10 games, six come versus teams who made the playoffs last year, meaning it won’t be an easy slate but the opportunity will be there for the taking.
—Five of those 10 Eastern Conference game this month will double as Metro division games, the most intra-division games that Penguins will play in a month to this point in the season. The Flyers are expected to be bad but the remaining three games against the Hurricanes and Islanders are two teams the Penguins will be hoping to battle with for playoff positioning at season’s end. December is still early, banking those points now takes off a lot of stress later on.
—Shifting to the Western Conference slate, just a measly three games against opponents from the opposite conference, with all three coming on home ice. Not that it makes much of a difference but all three games are against teams from the Central division. The Penguins will wrap up their season series with the Blues on December 30th after playing in St. Louis back in October.
—Late night games can be fun but sometimes it’s nice to know you can watch the Penguins and still get to bed at a decent hour. No late night starts in December as all 13 games will take place in the Eastern time zone with the latest puck drop coming at 7:30 PM.
—Next Friday we flip the calendar to 2024 and take a look at the Penguins January schedule that starts with a rivalry meeting at home and ends with the Penguins on hiatus.
Do you have any thoughts on the December schedule? Any game you are looking forward to? Let’s discuss in the comments.