The Islanders kick off a very long road trip.
The Islanders open their regular season tonight in Raleigh against the Carolina Hurricanes, who are similarly picked as contenders for the Metro Division title despite quite a bit of offseason roster turnover.
New faces in Carolina include an entirely new goalie tandem, a successful offer sheet poach from Montreal, and a blueline hole where Dougie Hamilton used to be.
FIG Picks: You can again leave your First Islanders Goal picks in our season-long competition…big thanks to Clarence for getting up a post on the rules (Leo goals do not count triple) and place to leave your picks for tonight here.
Barry Trotz: ‘Nothing Goes to Plan in Sports, It’ll Be. Grind, Enjoy the Journey’
Here’s Coach Barry’s pre-game availability. He was introspective, discussed the big picture, and also addressed what the eight-year contract extension means for Ryan Pulock:
Trotz Pregame Availability pic.twitter.com/4XNaaS5LUr
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) October 14, 2021
And here is a worthy hype video, via the irreplaceable Isles Territory:
— Isles Territory (@IslesTerritory) October 13, 2021
Islanders vs. Hurricanes Lineups
Here’s how the host team expects to line up, via our opposing fans at Canes Country:
Jesperi Kotkaniemi – Sebastian Aho – Martin Necas
Andrei Svechnikov – Vincent Trocheck – Teuvo Teravainen
Nino Niederreiter – Jordan Staal – Jesper Fast
Jordan Martinook – Derek Stepan – Steven Lorentz
Jaccob Slavin – Ethan Bear
Brady Skjei – Brett Pesce
Ian Cole – Tony DeAngelo
For the Islanders, it is as Lou Lamoriello designed it mid-summer, or about two months before contracts were actually filed. The only exceptions are Ross Johnston in for the still rehabbing Matt Martin (ankle surgery), and Ilya Sorokin is the starter because Semyon Varlamov is still nursing a nagging injury.
Anders Lee – Mathew Barzal – Kyle Palmieri
Anthony Beauvillier – Brock Nelson – Josh Bailey
Zach Parise – Jean-Gabriel Pageau – Oliver Wahlstrom
Ross Johnston – Casey Cizikas – Cal Clutterbuck
Adam Pelech – Ryan Pulock
Zdeno Chara – Noah Dobson
Andy Greene – Scott Mayfield
It’s the debut of Zach Parise and re-debut of Zdeno Chara, 20 years later, in Islanders uniforms.
It’s the return of Anders Lee after he missed the end of last season and playoffs with an injury.
It’s the first time we see Anders Lee and Kyle Palmieri in the same lineup.
And it’s the start of the first season in a gen-…er, man, in a couple of generations(?!) where the Islanders enter with a fairly wide perception as Cup contenders.
So let’s do as Barry says: Thanks for being with us, let’s enjoy the ride!