Number of games: 11
First Game: January 2nd
Conference Breakdown: 7 vs. East/4 vs. West
vs. Metro Division: 3
Highlights: Penguins open the month with four games in seven days and six in ten if you go back and count the end of December...Capitals come to Pittsburgh for the first time...January 13th against the Hurricanes marks Game #41 and the midway point of the 2023-24 season...For the first time in 2023-24 the Penguins take on the Bruins while they wrap season series with the Sabres, Canucks, Kraken, Golden Knights, and Coyotes...Penguins begin CBA-mandated bye week/All-Star break on Janaury 28th following only back-to-back of the month.
—If you count the two games that wrap up December, the Penguins will play six games in the course of ten days between December 30th and January 8th, one of their busier stretches of the first half. After their January 8th game with the Flyers, the Penguins will only play seven games over the next 19 days to close out the January schedule.
—With the midpoint of the season coming on January 13th we should have a good idea where the Penguins stand and what works needs to be done to avoid a repeat of last season. We may already have a clear picture of what direction the Penguins are headed before this time but the halfway marker will be a good measuring stick.
—A very odd month in terms of travel for the Penguins. The Capitals game to open the month is the end of a three game homestand but then they alternate home-away for the next six games. A short road trip to the desert then back home for a pair are the only consecutive games at home or on the road this month.
—For a team as old as the Penguins, January comes at the perfect time in the schedule, offering the Penguins light work followed by an extended break that will give them ample opportunity to rest and recover for the playoff push coming once everything ramps up again starting in February.
—After taking on the Canadiens on January 27th, the Penguins will then be off for the next nine days due to the CBA-mandated bye week in combination with the NHL All-Star game scheduled for the first weekend in February.
—Overall, January comes off as a very manageable month for the Penguins, at least on paper. As we know, games aren’t played on paper and how they perform on the ice will be what tells the true story.
—Next week we turn our focus to February and see what the Penguins have waiting for them once they return from their extended hiatus.
Do you have any thoughts on the January schedule? Any game you are looking forward to? Let’s discuss in the comments.