It is time…no more wondering about preseason games, roster cuts or what lines will look like on opening night.
The National Hockey League regular season is open for business after three games were played last night starting with a classic grudge match between the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs.
For the New York Islanders, New Jersey is first on the schedule for Friday, Oct 4 in Newark, NJ. From the social media output we’ve seen, the team will have a large fan presence on the road that night. Here is to hoping the extra support motivates the men to a fast start (as if they need it), since they have a short turnaround before hosting the Columbus Blue Jackets the following night in the home opener.
With newly extended defenseman Travis Hamonic skating in a no-contact jersey and rookie Griffin Reinhart being added to the 23-man roster as an insurance policy, the Isles are as deep as they ever have been at both the NHL and AHL level. If goaltender Kevin Poulin provides adequate backup for Evgeni Nabokov and the defense gels quickly with new addition Matt Donovan, the sky could be the limit as they push for one of the three guaranteed playoff spots in the East come April.
With staff writer Pete McEntee covering the individual player profiles in his previews separately we decided to, as a staff, ask six burning questions pertaining to the upcoming season and solicit responses from each of the 9 panel members.
So, without further adieu, let’s start addressing the hot button issues that could determine where the Islanders end up when all is said and done in April of 2014….