The Islanders have released their 2013-14 regular season schedule. The team will both start and finish the season on the road, which may not be a bad thing considering the team played much better on the road than at home last season. The Islanders were 14-6-4 on the road last season, compared to 10-11-3 at home. Their season will begin in New Jersey against the New Jersey Devils on Friday, October 4th at 7:00 p.m. and will end on April 13th in Buffalo against the Buffalo Sabres.
The home opener will be played on Saturday, October 5th at 7:00 p.m. against the Columbus Blue Jackets – the newest addition to the Eastern Conference. The Blue Jackets are also members of the new Metropolitan Division along with the Islanders. Could this be the beginning of a new rivalry between these two young, rebuilding teams both looking for a shot at the Stanley Cup? The teams will play each other four times during the regular season, so we’ll have to stay tuned to find out just how heated these games get or don’t get. It should be interesting to watch how the competition between teams in the new divisions and conferences plays out. With the new playoff schedule, the top three teams in each division will automatically qualify for the post-season with two spots in each conference reserved for wild card teams. The wild card spots will go to the two teams in each conference with the highest total points among non-playoff qualifying teams. The Islanders finished third in the Atlantic Division last season, and should be serious contenters for a playoff spot again this year.
Highlights of the 2013-14 regular season schedule include the January 29th game against ultimate rivals, the New York Rangers. The Islanders and Rangers will take play an outdoor game at Yankee Stadium as part of the 2014 Coors Light Stadium series on Wednesday, January 29th at 7:30 p.m. This game may be the most anticipated game of the regular season. Islander fans will get to experience an outdoor game against their biggest rivals in an iconic stadium in New York. My only complaint, as a Mets fan, is that the game won’t be played at Citi Field – but hey, we finally have an outdoor game so I’ll be quiet. Other highlights include a trip to Chicago to play the reigning Stanley Cup champions on October 11th, the return of the Penguins on December 3rd, and the team’s final home game on April 8th against the Senators.
The full schedule is available on the Islander’s website here.