East Meadow, NY–At long last, the New York Islanders begin their 2023-24 campaign tonight against the Buffalo Sabres.
“Everybody’s excited,” Islanders head coach Lane Lambert said. “We’ve been practicing a long time. It doesn’t matter how young or how old you are; you have that first game anxiousness. ”
The Islanders are coming off a year in which they made the playoffs. Although tonight is just the first of 82, the Sabres are considered one of the biggest threats to the Islanders’ hopes of returning to the postseason.
“They’re an extremely fast team,” Lambert said. “They have tremendous skill and depth. Their power play is solid. They throw a full team at you, and it’s very good.”
Wahlstrom Watching From Above:
One player who won’t be dressing for the Islanders tonight is forward Oliver Wahlstrom.
Wahlstrom skated in four games during the preseason but didn’t show much as he’s continuing to work his way back from a lower-body injury that prematurely ended his season last year.
“He’s close, and if we needed him, he can play,” Lambert said. “It’s a long season. Keep that in mind. Everybody just has to continue working, and he’s been doing that.”
Despite not being in the starting lineup, Wahlstrom feels he’s ready to go.
“It’s frustrating not playing,” Wahlstrom said. “I actually haven’t played in a home opener in four years, so I haven’t experienced that. It’s encouraging that the knee is starting to get stronger. I’m just working my way back, and that’s all you can do.”
Who To Watch:
Simon Holmstrom is getting a huge opportunity as he’ll play on the first line for the Islanders tonight, next to Mathew Barzal and Bo Horvat.
How To Watch:
Puck drop between the New York Islanders and Buffalo Sabres is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. this evening at UBS Arena. The game can be seen on MSG Network and heard on the New York Islanders radio network.