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Monday, 02.27.2006 / 12:00 AM ET / News
New York Islanders
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by Bloomberg 1130's Chris King

The Olympics are over, and now it is time for the Islanders to focus on the remaining 26 games in the hopes of reaching the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season.  After practice today, I sat down with the five Islanders who had a chance to play in Italy, and asked each of them to share some Olympic memories one last time before moving on to the stretch drive of the NHL schedule.

Mark Parrish
"It was great it was an amazing experience.  Just to say that I got a chance to play in the Olympics is a highlight for my career.  Obviously we were disappointed we wanted to bring back a gold medal.  But when you take a step back, I realize I had the chance to have my parents, my family, my wife all be there with me, and see how excited they were when it was all said and done.  I'm proud that they got a chance to see me play in the Olympics.  I'm proud that I had the chance to represent my country.  It was a huge honor and I would do it again in a heartbeat."

Alexei Yashin
"It's always a special experience to represent your country, but we came up a little bit short in the last two games.  I think our game against Canada was great because we really played like a team and proved we were able to beat a great team.  I played with Alexander Ovechkin, Ilya Kovalchuk and so many other great players, like Evgeni Malkin, who are so young and have all kinds of talent they represent the future of Russian hockey."

Jason Blake
"It was awesome it was the thrill of a lifetime.  It's something I will cherish the rest of my life.  Hopefully my kids weren't too young that they won't remember it.  Just to play at the highest level of hockey in the world, in international competition, in one of the biggest tournaments ever it was fun.  It was the opportunity of a lifetime.  It's unfortunate that we didn't get a medal or move on, but I got to share a great experience with my wife and two kids.  That for me was just as meaningful as the trip over there.  I also had the chance to meet with Wayne Gretzky he took a picture with my little guy, he held my little guy and that's obviously something we'll all remember forever."

Miroslav Satan
"It's always nice to participate in the Olympics.  It's one of the oldest sports traditions and competitions in history.  It's always a great honor just to be a part of it.  Getting a chance to play alongside Peter Bondra was at the top of my list.  He's a very experienced player, very well liked back home, and also very respected.  He's also a very good friend of mine, and he said this might be his last Olympics.  Playing on the same line with him was quite an honor."

Rick DiPietro
"It was a great experience, but it was also disappointing.  If anything, I came out of it with a tremendously sick feeling in my stomach almost a missed opportunity to do something great.  Anytime you get a chance to play with all those guys on USA hockey, we have a blast.  They're a great team, a great group of guys, and we're all disappointed we couldn't move on in that quarterfinal game.  But at the end of the day, my focus is already here.  We've got some serious business to take care of and it's not going to be easy.  The intensity level is going to be there, so it's just a matter of getting a little bit of a rest, getting yourself adjusted to the time change so your not so fatigued all the time."





1 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 55 32 17 6 153 127 70
3 NYR 55 31 18 6 157 140 68
4 DET 55 28 18 9 138 134 65
5 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
6 TBL 54 30 20 4 144 130 64
7 BOS 54 29 19 6 159 148 64
8 PIT 54 28 19 7 139 136 63
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 CAR 55 24 21 10 131 143 58
11 MTL 56 27 25 4 151 151 58
12 PHI 53 24 20 9 127 138 57
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 BUF 56 22 28 6 131 155 50
15 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47


J. Tavares 50 20 23 -2 43
K. Okposo 51 15 28 -9 43
F. Nielsen 53 15 19 -1 34
B. Nelson 53 20 11 -1 31
M. Grabovski 53 9 16 3 25
A. Lee 53 9 15 0 24
J. Bailey 52 9 15 4 24
N. Leddy 53 3 21 -7 24
R. Strome 42 6 15 -4 21
C. Cizikas 53 5 12 5 17
J. Halak 13 11 4 .918 2.27
T. Greiss 15 6 2 .929 2.24
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