NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman hopes to announce on Thursday what the plan is for the start of the 2020-2021 season. The eyes are set on January 1st in starting the new season. We will see how many games are going to be played.
We know one thing with the coronavirus, their will probably no Western Conference Road Trips this season. This team will probably not play against the Edmonton Oilers, the Calgary Flames, the Vancouver Canucks, the Vegas Golden Knights, the San Jose Sharks, the Anaheim Ducks, the Los Angeles Kings, the Arizona Coyotes, the Chicago Blackhawks, the Dallas Stars, the St. Louis Blues, the Nashville Predators, the Minnesota Wild, the Colorado Avalanche, and the Winnipeg Jets.
This will be the first time since the 2013 season where that happened. That was enlarge to the shortened season because of the lockout and this is also very similar here. Travel will need to be limited. Expect 50-60 games to be played against Eastern Conference teams only.
If there is a 50-60 game season, let’s see how many they should play against their Metropolitan Division foes. Let’s say they go with 60 games. The Pittsburgh Penguins should face the Philadelphia Flyers, the Washington Capitals, the New York Rangers, the New York Islanders, the Carolina Hurricanes, the Columbus Blue Jackets., and the New Jersey Devils at least six times. They should then play around two extra games against any opponents to round it out to 44 total divisional games. The extra games should be against Philadelphia and Washington.
The other 16 games would be against the Atlantic Division twice. Those teams would be against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Boston Bruins, the Florida Panthers, the Detroit Red Wings, the Ottawa Senators, the Buffalo Sabres, the Montreal Canadiens, and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Hopefully the Pittsburgh Penguins will begin the 2020-2021 season at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but it remains to be seen. They could also do a bubble as well and temporarily realignment. Everything is on the table at this point. I doubt there will be fans to start the season alone have some scene of normalcy. I think it will be a divisional bubble just my opinion. If that were the case and this is what I think is going to happen, then I think the Pittsburgh Penguins will start the season against the Washington Capitals or the Philadelphia Flyers though.