The New York Islanders are back in action today. Not in some sort of training camp capacity, but in an actual (exhibition) game. Today, the Islanders take on the New York Rangers in Manhattan for the first game of the pre-season.
I’m sure we don’t need to hype you up for the event, but to get you primed for puck drop, here are some things you’ll want to know about the game.
Where can I watch New York Islanders first pre-season game?
Yes, the game will be televised (sometimes pre-season games aren’t). MSG and MSG+ will have the feed for tonight’s game. If you can’t get in front of a TV for the game, you can tune in to the radio to catch the action. The Isles radio feed will be carried by 88.7FM WRHU.
We’ll know the lineups closer to game time. That’s just how Barry Trotz roles. But you shouldn’t expect a squad full of NHL regulars for Game 1 of the pre-season. The last time there was a preseason (2019) the Isles iced six NHL regulars in Game 1: Matt Martin, Anthony Beauvillier, Leo Komarov, Casey Cizikas, Scott Mayfield, and Semyon Varlamov.
I would expect a similar type of lineup today. We might not see so few NHL regulars, but we’ll see a number of prospects or AHL players hit the ice against the Rangers. That’s mainly due to the smaller roster for this camp. In 2019, the team brought in 70 players for camp, they have 57 this time.
I imagine we see a collection of young skaters like Robin Salo, Simon Holmstrom, Aatu Räty, and maybe even Jakub Skarek in nets.
Most of these guys don’t have a shot at making the NHL but they’re still playing to show management and the coaching staff that they are one step closer to being NHL ready this year.
We’ve heard throughout the offseason that one of the big reasons the Rangers “toughened” up this year was due to how the Islanders ran over them during the 2020-21 season. Will the Rangers use this first chance to show the Islanders they’ll be tougher this year?
I don’t think so. This is preseason. I’m sure it’s still going to be chippy out there, but the Rangers won’t see this game as a “measuring stick” game. That will be reserved for the first time they play during the regular season (November 24 @ UBS Arena).