After going 2-4 on a six-game road trip to end December, the Providence Bruins will play eight of their next eleven games at home, where they are 7-3-2.
With the midpoint of the season just four games away, the P-Bruins should use this busy stretch at home to dig their way out of seventh place in the Atlantic Division.
While it looked like they were trending upward at the end of November and beginning of December, only earning 4 out of 12 possible points on their six-game road swing caused them to drop below .500 and slide back down the ladder.
The P-Bruins kick off their January schedule tonight against Lehigh Valley, and will travel to Springfield on Saturday before returning home for a Sunday matinee against Hartford. Every game this month is against a divisional opponent.
Obviously, it goes without saying, but it’s crucial that the P-Bruins take advantage of their schedule this month. Not only do they play eight games at home, they don’t have to travel outside of New England for their three road games (they have two trips to Springfield and one to Bridgeport). Less time on the buses is always welcomed in the AHL.
The P-Bruins, who put up just six goals last weekend, also need to regroup offensively. Ryan Fitzgerald, their top scorer, has not found the back of the net since December 1. Cameron Hughes has not scored since December 15 and has just one point in his last six games.
The P-Bruins will also get a boost tonight as Kyle Cumiskey, Zach Senyshyn, and Jakub Zboril all return from injury. Anders Bjork is still out after being injured on December 30, according to Mark Divver of the Providence Journal.
Senyshyn, Zboril, Cumiskey return to @AHLBruins lineup tonite after missing time with injuries. Bjork is still day to day. Took a tough fall on his upper body/shoulder after being knocked down in Sunday's game— Mark Divver (@MarkDivver) January 4, 2019
With the limited travel and familiar opponents, this team-friendly schedule this month provides a big opportunity for the P-Bruins to gain some momentum for the second half of the season.