Pittsburgh Penguins Remaining Games Predictions

For the Pittsburgh Penguins, tonight marks the starting point for the final three months of the regular season. There are 29 games remaining before potential playoff time and I have made my predictions. Are they bold? I don’t think so. Will they be exact? Probably not. Will they give you something to think about?

Absolutely.

In the remaining games, the Pens will face only four teams that they haven’t seen already this season (Nashville, Anaheim, Columbus and Phoenix). But for the other 25 teams left on the schedule, the Pens should be able to put together some type of game plans based on their prior familiarity. That’s exactly what I did. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Against the remaining familiar teams this season, Pittsburgh has a total record of 19-18
  • Its road record against these teams is 8-11
  • Its home record against these teams is 11-7
  • Pittsburgh has 17 games remaining at home
  • They have 12 games remaining on the road
  • Pittsburgh has a record of 6-9 against Atlantic Division opponents
  • The Pens will play Atlantic Division opponents 11 more times this season
  • Of the remaining familiar teams they will face, Pittsburgh has the worst record against New Jersey (1-5)
  • Of the remaining familiar teams the Pens will face, they have the best record against the Islanders (4-0)

Now before I go any further into my predictions, I wish to make one point. Although I want to stay optimistic about the return of Sidney Crosby, it’s hard for me to think that he will be back before the playoffs (should Pittsburgh reach the playoffs).  In an earlier post, I predicted a hypothetical situation in which Crosby would return to game action on February 29 against the Dallas Stars.

In retrospect, that was much too bold of a prediction.

Sid still needs to get rid of the remaining concussion symptoms to even be cleared for contact. Then, he would need time to recondition (again) and become game ready. If you look at the timeline of his last return, the remaining amount of games won’t allow for a regular season return. Once again, I hope I’m wrong.

So the predictions I am about to make are all based on a Crosby-less Pittsburgh hockey club. If Sid were to return at any point in the regular season, my predictions would certainly change. But since we have no way of knowing, I’ll move forward without the Pen’s captain.

  • I predict that in the final 29 games, Pittsburgh will put together a record of 17-10-2, earning them 36 more points. In this span, Pittsburgh will go 11-5-1 at home and 6-5-1 on the road.
  • In this scenario, Pittsburgh will finish the season with a final record of 47-29-6 with a grand total of 100 points. (Last season, the Penguins finished with a record of 49-25-8, earning a total of 106 points. One-hundred points overall would have pegged Pittsburgh in the sixth playoff spot last season.)
  • Here are the remaining games Pittsburgh will win at home: Winnipeg (twice), Anaheim, Rangers, Tampa Bay, Columbus, Toronto, Florida, New Jersey, Islanders and Philadelphia.
  • Here are the remaining games Pittsburgh will lose at home: Tampa Bay, Phoenix, Boston, Nashville, Philadelphia and the Rangers (OT/SO).
  • On the road, the Pens will beat the following teams: Montreal, Buffalo (twice), New Jersey (finally), Philadelphia (finally) and Boston.
  • On the road, Pittsburgh will lose to the following clubs: Philadelphia, Dallas, Colorado (OT/SO), Rangers, Ottawa and the Islanders.
  • The longest remaining winning streak for the Pens will be a string of four games starting Feb. 19 at Buffalo, and will continue with wins against the Rangers at home, Tampa Bay at home and Columbus at home. The streak will end in Dallas on Feb. 29 against the Stars.
  • Pittsburgh will not lose more than two games in a row for the rest of the season.

I made these predictions by using a few different methods. First, I examined all of the teams the Penguins have already played and closely looked at how they did on the road and at home against these teams. Overall, the Pens are a much better home team than they are on the road against the remaining familiar teams this season. They are 11-7 at home, compared to 8-11 on the road.

For example, I believe Pittsburgh will start the month of February with a fourth straight win against Montreal. In 23 career starts against the Habs, Marc-Andre Fleury has a 13-8-1 record with a 3.32 GAA and .887 SV%. I like those odds, so I gave Pittsburgh the win.

Another example is how I picked the remaining games against the Devils. New Jersey has owned Pittsburgh this season and has not lost to the Pens at home. I predicted wins in both of the remaining games against the Devils because I don’t believe there is any way that the Penguins can keep losing to this team. There have been some close games against the Devils this season and I think that there is so much game film that is rife with mistakes, Pittsburgh will be able to identify why they keep losing to the Devils.

And finally, I went with my gut. I’ve seen enough Penguins games to get a good feel for how this team will work out. It’s obviously not a science, but so much of sports comes down to intangibles; it’s not always stats that tell the story.

You may not agree with all my choices, but regardless of your opinion, you can check out my running track record that I will update after each game the Penguins play. So keep coming back to Polish Pedro’s Sports and Such and see how I’m doing. Feel free to make fun of my downfalls and congratulate me on my triumphs.

But no matter what happens, the remaining three months of the Penguins regular season should be as exciting as ever.

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About Pete Dombrosky
Pete is a graduate of Penn State University and a life-long Steelers, Penguins, and Pirates fan. He covered men's hockey, golf, tennis, swimming and the enterprise beat as a reporter at the Daily Collegian, Penn State's award-winning, independent student-operated paper. He currently serves as the Assistant Managing Editor for Thrillist Media Group (www.thrillist.com).

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