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Islanders talking big game and playoffs @NHL

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) - If the New York Islanders' play on the ice is as strong as their talk off it, maybe - just maybe - they will escape the cellar and make a long-awaited run at a playoff spot.

They have removed the word rebuilding from their vocabulary as they enter their 40-year anniversary season and have boldly proclaimed there will be no more excuses if they finish below the postseason cutoff a fifth straight time.

"I don't know if we should be in the playoffs or if we're going to be in the playoffs, but I think the way these guys are thinking here, it's, 'We've got to make the playoffs,"' forward P.A. Parenteau said. "There is no other way.

"It's a big failure for this team with the talent we have here. We're all healthy. There is no excuse."

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