Islanders head coach Scott Gordon, who was behind the bench as an assistant for Team USA, was nice enough to take the time before his flight back from Vancouver to talk about USA's outstanding Olympic run that ended today as they were defeated 3-2 in overtime against Canada in the gold medal game.

What were your thoughts on todays instant classic?

" I actually thought we played better defensively in that game. The team got better in every game, and for the most part, we didn't give up a lot of shots. We just couldn't take advantage of opportunities there. Canada's defense played really well. When we tied it up with less than 30 seconds to go, I liked the way we were playing."

Before Zach Parise tied it up, were you pretty confident you guys could tie it back up?

"Yeah, you could tell Canada was kind of sitting back and being selective when they forechecked. For us, we knew we'd get chances. I knew with our centers, who were just incredible with faceoffs--kessler and Pavelski-- I felt confident about getting an opportunity 6 on 5 with our goalie pulled."

After Parise scored?

" I really liked our chances, and thought we were going in the right direction heading into 4 on 4."

What did this tournament do as far as advance USA hockey?

"To me there were two thing: between the World Championships and Olympics, I think it was a huge transition for USA hockey to introduce a younger guard and a new philosophy with our style of play. Talking to Ron Wilson and working with Brian Burke, their philosphy is not sitting back and instead pushing the play. We did that as well as we did against competition that no one gave us a chance to have the opportunity to medal against. The style of play we play was different from everyone else."

"Brian Burke, one of things he has tried to do in Toronto is make fans feel like they were entertained. It's nice to be part of that philosophy and we're still trying to have that success and see what can happen as our players get older and we accumulate talent to see what we're capable of. After getting beat up for a year and a half, it's refreshing to go in the right direction, and it seems like the same direction the Islanders are going in.

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What impact does a game like today have for the sport?

"I don't know what the ratings were for the US, but for Canada have the country was watching. If you can see the streets right now, it's just a mob scene. Tim thomas said after watching the 1980 Olympics he wanted to be Jim Craig. It will be the same for all the kids right now. My kids watched that and they are going to say, ' I want to be Zach Parise and Ryan Miller."

Speaking of Ryan Miller, what did you think of his tournament?

"I thought in the first game he came up so big for us as we were still in the feeling-out process. What he did was get us off on the right foot."

How was this experience different from 1992 in Albertville, France when you represented the US as a player.

"This time was different. As a player, you just show up to the rink and that's it. As a coach, you have a game to watch, film to break down, and a meeting to prepare for, so it's maybe a little more hectic."

With a quick turnaround (Gordon will be back for tomorrow's Islanders practice at 10:30) how do you adjust the mindset so quickly and prepare for the task at hand with 20 games left?

"The biggest thing is I'm really confortable with Dean Chynoweth, Scott Allen and Ryan Ward getting everyone ready to go and prepared to go for Tuesday. The confidence I have in them makes it easy."