Number of games: 13
First Game: November 4th
Conference Breakdown: 8 vs. East/5 vs. West
vs. Metro Division: 4
Highlights: Get the caffeine drip ready, November starts out west with the California swing...From one division game in October to four in November, including three in a row starting 11/14...Defending champs come to town...Rangers are at PPG for the annual Thanksgiving Eve contest and a second straight Black Friday game for the Penguins...Month ends how it started, back on the road with some warmer locales.
—A home heavy month in October is turned on its head in November with the Penguins playing eight of the 13 scheduled games away from PPG Paints Arena. That’s the type of trade off you have to live with but after the first week of the month it’s a dead even 5-5 split between home and road.
—Getting the long California swing out of the way early while the legs are still fresh feels like it could play in the Penguins favor down the line. When you’re an old team like the Penguins, you’ll take your breaks anyway you can get them and getting this trip out of the way early, plus with no back-to-backs, feels like a win.
—After playing the Capitals on October 13th, the Penguins have no divisional contests until November 14th against the Blue Jackets, a game that will begin a three game Metro stretch that also includes the Devils and Hurricanes. In total, there are only four Metro games in November, but still four times as many as the month prior.
—Defending champs will be in town to open Thanksgiving week giving Reilly Smith a reunion with his old team for the first time. This will also mark the Penguins busiest week of the season to date with four games in seven days and five in eight if you count the Hurricanes game the night before.
—Once again the Penguins are at home on Thanksgiving Eve which has become a tradition over the years now. For the first time the Rangers will be an opponent and give the Penguins their first look against a team they will be likely battling with for positioning all season long. Hope the Penguins don’t overstuff themselves on turkey with a back-to-back set to close out the holiday week.
—Wrapping up the month back on the road with a short southern swing to Nashville and Tampa Bay. It’s always nice to escape Pittsburgh this time of year for some warmer locales and the Penguins will bookend their month in some sunny climates.
Next week: Thanksgiving is in the rearview and Christmas is coming. December presents its own challenges and opportunities as the season approaches the midway point.
Do you have any thoughts on the November schedule? Any game you are looking forward to? Let’s discuss in the comments.