Morning Pens Buzz: Having 4th toughest remaining schedule a potential good thing for Penguins

Penguins PENGUINS HAVE 4TH TOUGHEST REMAINING SCHEDULE
The Penguins return to action tonight vs Montreal Canadiens and have 24 games left in the regular season. Pittsburgh holds a 16 point lead over the New York Rangers in the Metropolitan Division but the race for the top seed in the Eastern Conference is up for grabs between the Penguins and Boston Bruins.
Just four points separate the Penguins (83 pts) and Bruins (79 pts) with both teams playing 58 games at this point. The teams are nearly identical in a number of categories. Among them:
PIT Goals For 186 | BOS Goals For 180
PIT Goals Against 138 | BOS Goals Against 130
PIT Goal Differential +48 | BOS Goal Differential +50
One thing to watch is the strength of schedule. The Penguins have the fourth toughest remaining schedule (.596) and the Bruins have the fourth easiest remaining schedule (.543).
The Penguins have 16 games in 31 days in March, including 17 games in a 33 day span starting tonight. 16 of those 17 games are against teams currently in a playoff spot or three points or less out of a playoff spot.
In fact, of the remaining 24 games on the Penguins schedule, the only team the Penguins play the rest of the way that is four points or more out of a playoff spot is the Nashville Predators on March 4th. The Predators are currently five points of a playoff spot.
While not winning the conference means a likely much tougher opponent in the first round but the tough schedule the Penguins have the rest of the way is a good thing for them as just about every team they play is going to be fighting for playoff position or a playoff spot.

Penguins Remaining Schedule:
vs Montreal – 71 points, 3rd in Atlantic Division
@ Chicago – 84 points, 2nd in Central Division
@ Nashville – 60 points, 12th in Western Conference, currently five points out of a playoff spot
@ San Jose – 80 points, 2nd in Pacific Division
@ Anaheim – 87 points, 1st in NHL
@ Washington – 63 points, tied for 9th in Eastern Conference, three points out of playoff spot
vs Washington – 63 points, tied for 9th in Eastern Conference, three points out of playoff spot
@ Philadelphia – 66 points, third in Metropolitan Division
vs Philadelphia – 66 points, third in Metropolitan Division
vs Dallas – 64 points, 9th in Western Conference, one point out of playoff spot
@ Detroit – 66 Points, 8th in Eastern Conference, currently in second wildcard spot
vs Tampa Bay – 71 points, 2nd in Atlantic Division
vs St. Louis – 84 points, 1st in Central Division
vs Phoenix – 64 points, tied for 9th in Western Conference, one point out of playoff spot
vs Los Angeles – 70 points, 3rd in Pacific Division
@ Columbus – 63 points, tied for 9th in Eastern Conference, three points out of playoff spot
vs Chicago – 84 points, second in Central Division
vs Carolina – 63 points, tied for 9th in Eastern Conference, three points out of playoff spot
@ Winnipeg – 11th in Western Conference, three points out of playoff spot
@ Minnesota – 69 points, 7th in Western Conference, currently in top wildcard spot
@ Colorado – 79 points, 3rd in Central Division
vs Detroit – 66 points, 8th in Eastern Conference, currently in second wildcard spot
vs Philadelphia – 66 points, 3rd in Metropolitan Division
vs Ottawa – 63 points, tied for 9th in Eastern Conference, three points out of playoff spot

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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