Last season the New York Islanders finished 32-17-7 with 71 points and were fourth in the Eastern Division. The Islanders lost in the conference final to the Tampa Bay Lightning in 7 games. The leader in points last season for New York was Matthew Barzal with 17 goals and 28 assists in 55 games. The most notable acquisitions for New York during the offseason were Richard Panik, Zach Parise and Zdeno Chara, while the most notable losses were Nick Leddy, Jordan Eberle and Andrew Ladd. The Islanders will play without Johnny Boychuk, while Semyon Varlamov is doubtful.
Carolina was 36-12-8 with 80 points last season and the Hurricanes finished first in the Central Division but were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs by the Tampa Bay Lightning in 5 games. Last season's points leader was Sebastian Aho with 24 goals and 33 assists in 56 games. The most notable additions to the Carolina roster during the offseason were Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Tony DeAngelo, Ethan Bear, Frederik Andersen, Antti Raanta and Brendan Smith. The most notable losses were Dougie Hamilton, Petr Mrazek and Warren Foegele. Carolina opens the season with only one player, Vincent Trocheck on its injured list.
Return of Ander Lee is HUGE for IslandersThe New York Islanders will have Anders Lee back on the ice to start the regular season after the forward missed the last two months of the regular season as well as the playoffs last year. The captain of the Islanders had 12 goals in the 27 games he appeared in before his season-ending injury. Lee will play alongside center Mathew Barzal, which will give the Islanders it's best scoring line. The Islanders will be a team without a home until November 20th when they will play their first game at UBS arena in Elmont, New York but will have to play their first 13 games on the road. With parity up and down the Metropolitan Division, these first 13 games could be instrumental in how the Islanders play the remainder of the season.
🥅 another day in the office 🥅 pic.twitter.com/yHkHxCcazd— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) October 12, 2021
Semyon Varlamov was tied for the lead in the NHL last season in shutouts with 7 in the 36 games he appeared but the Islanders netminder is doubtful for the season opener with an undisclosed issue. Ilya Sorokin will likely start in goal for the Islanders and last season as a rookie had a goals-against average of 2.17 with a save percentage of .918 and three shutouts in only 21 starts.
New faces Give Carolina Hope for a Deeper Playoff RunThe Carolina Hurricanes were first in the Central Division last year but were eliminated early in the postseason in the second round. The Hurricanes added new faces including 2 new netminders in Frederick Anderson and Antti Raanta. In addition, Jesperi Kotkaniemi joined Carolina as well as other supporting cast. Caroline will have to replace Dougie Hamilton, who is one of the better two-way defenseman in the NHL after scoring 10 goals last season. However, the addition of Tony DeAngelo will help make up for the loss of Hamilton. D'Angelo had 53 points in 2019-20 with the New York Rangers.
Carolina will have several options on the blue line with the addition of D'Angelo and Ethan Bear. One of the two is expected to slide in and take over Hamilton's spot alongside fellow defenseman Jaccob Slavin. Brett Pesce returns and well team-up with the other to form a strong second pair of defensemen. The most intriguing new face is that of Kotkaniemi who scored 62 points in 3 seasons (171 games) with Montreal. The 21-year old will join Sebastian Aho as the top two points’ producers for the Hurricanes
- Carolina is 5-0 in the last five against a Metropolitan division team
- The Hurricanes are 9-4 in the last 13 played at home
- New York is 0-4 in the last four played on Thursday