New York Islanders

The New York Islanders released their 2016-17 schedule Tuesday, and it starts off with a bang.

Schedule release day isn’t as much of a holiday in hockey as it is in the National Football League, but that’s not to say that this season’s Isles schedule isn’t going to drive you bananas.

Maybe it’s the initial quartet of games coming against traditional powerhouses, or it’s a grueling nine-game road trip in late February, or it’s the thirteen sets of back-to-backs, but whatever it is, it’s really bugging you right now.

That’s understandable.

The NHL schedule has a penchant for being curious.

I mean, let’s face it. The Isles start their season with games against the Rangers (second in Metro), Capitals (Metro winners), Ducks (Pacific division victors) and Sharks (Stanley Cup runner-ups).

They have a monster road trip from late February to early March, one that entails competing in nine consecutive away contests.

They have thirteen back-to-backs, including four in the month of March, a term that has alluded them over the past couple of seasons.

They play the defending champs, the Pittsburgh Penguins, in late October, and oh yeah, during that arduous road trip, make a detour to Joe Louis Arena, where they’ll attempt to defeat the Red Wings in their soon-to-be-demolished barn.

In their never-ending quest to schedule two thousand events into a tiny calendar, Barclays Center is planning fewer 7:30 p.m. starts than before.

But this sounds like we’re complaining, and we’re not.

The Isles-Rangers rivalry is spread out this season, with games being played in the months of October, December, February and March.

The team concludes its regular season at home, and has a local matchup with the New Jersey Devils scheduled at the end, as well.

April looks like a softish landing pad, but that pales in comparison to the opportunity the Isles have at the Barc in October, when they have a stretch of ten out of eleven contests at home.

Here’s how the schedule looks:

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Justin Weiss is a staff editor at Elite Sports New York, where he covers the New York Islanders and Brooklyn Cyclones. In 2016, he received a Quill Award for Freelance Journalism. He has written for the Long Island Herald, FanSided and YardBarker.