At a glance: Unlike last season's disastrous preseason –- both Mark Streit and Kyle Okposo sustained significant shoulder injuries -- the Islanders suffered no serious setbacks in training camp. Staying healthy will be key if the team wants to make its first playoff appearance in five years.
Goaltending: As expected, the Islanders are carrying three goaltenders on their opening-night 23-man roster. Coming off his first healthy offseason in recent years, Rick DiPietro had a strong camp. He'll be the starter on opening night against the Panthers, but whether he can stay healthy and shoulder the bulk of an NHL season remains to be seen. Evgeni Nabokov could be good trade bait if another team's netminder goes down to injury, but the Islanders will have to showcase him to establish any value; the 36-year-old hasn’t played an NHL game since May 2010. Al Montoya, who revived his career with the Islanders in the second half of last season, could find himself the odd man out.
Staying healthy: Nino Niederreiter and Milan Jurcina will begin the year on injured reserve with groin strains. Niederreiter, who played with the top line of Matt Moulson and John Tavares and was projected to make the team out of camp, is expected to miss at least a week of the regular season. When he returns, first-round pick Ryan Strome will likely be sent back to his junior club. Jurcina has been plagued by lower-body injuries over the past two seasons and the Islanders will need him to battle through those again this year. Streit's return to the blue line will be huge, but the Islanders need his size on the back end.
Strome factor: The team’s fifth overall pick in the 2011 draft made the cut for the 23-man roster, but is not likely to stay long. The 18-year-old still needs time to mature physically and adapt to the speed of the NHL game. The Islanders can keep him around for up to nine games without burning a year of eligibility on the three-year entry-level contract he inked earlier this week. Chances are that his stint with the team may be even more short-lived than that.
Training camp surprise
Defenseman Steve Staios and forward Jay Pandolfo -- who came to Islanders training camp on tryouts -- earned spots on the roster. Staios provides the team some depth and experience on the blue line and Pandolfo offers a veteran presence with good penalty-killing ability.
Without question, the Islanders have some serious talent up front. But whether they can claw their way into a playoff spot will be determined by their ability to stay healthy and count on quality goaltending.