Number of games: 16
First Game: March 2nd
Conference Breakdown: 10 vs. East/6 vs. West
vs. Metro Division: 7
Highlights: Starting March like they ended February, on the road touring through Western Canada...Two Crosby vs. McDavid showdowns in March, coming just a week apart...dead even split between home and road games; it’s also an East heavy schedule with 12 of the 16 games coming in the Eastern time zone...both a three game homestand and three game road trip during the month...With 16 games in 31 days there will not be much time for rest; only one multi-day break in the entire month...Seven games against the Metro is the most on the season...Three meetings with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
—February ended with the Penguins in the middle of a Western Conference road trip that already saw them playing the Canucks and Kraken. March opens on the backend of that road trip with a back-to-back set against the Flames and Oilers respectively.
—There won’t be much time to recover and shake off the jet lag from returning home before the Penguins are back on the ice for the first of three games in March against the Columbus Blue Jackets. This will also be the first of seven Metro games in March, giving the Penguins ample opportunity to make moves in the standings.
—A Boston/Edmonton back-to-back is just a brutal pairing on consecutive nights for any team let alone one who will be playing six games in nine days. That’s the hand the Penguins were dealt and that’s the one they will have to play. At least we get our second Crosby/McDavid matchup in a week out of the whole deal.
—After that brief stop in Ottawa the Penguins will finally get some extended time at home with a three game home stand beginning against the Sharks. Right after those three games though the Penguins will be back on the road for a three game road trip that takes them first to Newark then back westward for games in Dallas and Colorado.
Three straight Metro games to close out the month gives the Penguins another opportunity to make some noise in the standings and close the month on a high and head into the final weeks with momentum on their side.
—By the time March comes to an end, we should have a pretty clear picture of where everything stands in terms of the Penguins and the playoffs. Seven games against division opponents in one month will be a major factor in how things shake out for the Penguins.
—Our 2023-24 schedule breakdown series wraps up next Friday with a look at April.
Do you have any thoughts on the March schedule? Any game you are looking forward to? Let’s discuss in the comments.