The New York Islanders kick things off for 2016-17 on “the road” in New York tonight, part of an opening month that has them barely stray from home.
After a second game in D.C. on Saturday — hopefully much better than Sunday’s preseason finale — they reel off five home games over the following 11 days, most of them against Western competition.
Here’s how October sets up, with the first nine games of the season. Starts are 7 p.m. Eastern unless otherwise noted:
Oct. 13 (Thursday): At NY Rangers
Can they extend last year’s sweep and ruin festivities at the Garden? [Leave your FIG Picks here.]
Oct. 15 (Saturday): At Washington Capitals
The first terrifying Metro opponent on the schedule. The Isles were 1-2-1 against Washington last year.
Oct. 16 (Sunday): vs. Anaheim Ducks, 6 p.m.
The first back-to-back comes in the form of a Sunday night home opener after flying back from D.C. The Isles were 2--0 and outscored Anaheim 9-3 last season.
Oct. 18 (Tuesday): vs. San Jose Sharks
Another dangerous Western threat comes to town. Joe Thornton’s beard is now a sentient being. The Isles were 2-0 against the Sharks last season, too.
Oct. 21 (Friday): vs. Arizona Coyotes
Don’t call them Phoenix! Brother of Strome faces Ryan in the NHL for the first time. Or will one already be scratched by then?
Oct. 23 (Sunday): vs. Minnesota Wild, 6 p.m.
Another early Sunday evening start. The Isles won both meetings in 2015-16, but now the Wild bring Bruce Boudreau’s fantastic voyage to town.
Oct. 26 (Wednesday): vs. Montreal Canadiens
The homestand concludes vs. a Subban-less Habs. The Isles were winless against Montreal last season and it was horrible. They better win this one because...
Oct. 27 (Thursday): at Pittsburgh Penguins
...immediately afterward they fly to Pittsburgh for their second back-to-back and first tilt with the reigning ch...cham...uh, chumps. That’s it.
Oct. 30 (Sunday): vs. Toronto Maple Leafs, 6 p.m.
Yet another Sunday evening affair, as the Auston Matthews Experience visits Brooklyn for the first time. How many goals will the summer’s 1st-overall pick have by then?