The New York Islanders season and home opener were announced today. And the Isles start the season with a back-to-back.
The New York Islanders full 2017-18 schedule will be released tomorrow at 3 PM on the NHL Network. But for now, every NHL team’s home opener has been released.
For the Islanders, their home opener is October 7th against Jack Eichel’s Buffalo Sabres. The day before the Isles are in Columbus for the Blue Jackets home opener.
That’s great. Bring on the back-to-backs when the players are fresh and looking to prove last season was an anomaly in an otherwise gradually improving franchise.
Admittedly a home opener against the Buffalo Sabres isn’t anywhere near as interesting or as dramatic as one against the New York Rangers.
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Last season’s season opener at MSG was a great way to kick off the 2016-17. It’s just a shame that the World Cup of Hockey diluted the build up to the season. But this year we don’t have that month long summer tournament to cloud out the end of the offseason.
So starting on the road against Columbus just seems…what’s the best word to describe it: “Meh”. It exciting because it’s the start of the season, but there isn’t much of a narrative against Columbus.
What’s it going to be this season? Make sure that you don’t get steamrolled? Last year the Isles had 1-2-0 record against the Blue Jackets, getting outscored 15-6. That’s not much of a narrative.
A home opener against Buffalo isn’t much better in the narrative department, outside of the sheer fact that it’s the home opener.
But I don’t want to complain yet about this. There’s still 80 games to go over I shouldn’t waste whatever complaint currency on these two games.
It’s also not much to complain about. “The narrative isn’t that great”. Talk about petty.
Don’t get me wrong I’m excited about the 2017-18 season. From the way this offseason is going and how the 2016-17 season ended I’m hopeful that the Islanders can get back to the playoffs and maybe more.