Thomas Vanek's comfort level increasing with Islanders

Thomas Vanek celebrates his third-period goal against the

Thomas Vanek celebrates his third-period goal against the Washington Capitals at Nassau Coliseum. (Nov. 30, 2013) Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

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DETROIT"It's definitely different from Buffalo, traffic and stuff. But it's a nice area," he said after the morning skate at Joe Louis Arena Monday. "You can find your quiet-and-peace spaces. I do. It's amazing how close you are to the city and yet it doesn't feel like city life." This is not to say he is a lock to stay after this season. It does say -- in fact, he said it himself -- that he is likely to play better. "Any time you get comfortable, it translates on the ice," he said. It translated to his first game-winning goal as an Islander on Friday against the Rangers and a two-goal game against the Ducks on Saturday. Coach Jack Capuano said: "We try to play a certain style. We have to move the puck more. That might have been a little bit of an adjustment for him, but I think being here now for a little while, he understands how we have to play." In fact, in a conversation with the coaches Saturday after the latest devastating loss, Vanek pointed out that the Islanders played too slowly in the third period. It was a sign that he is secure enough to be brutally honest and responsible. "It's been a good adjustment. Obviously, my first time moving somewhere else, it was hard at first. But this is a great group in here," Vanek said. "Losing doesn't help, but at the same time, you see we have a team here that can play with every team. We just have to learn how to win. That process is not easy." - If there is any shred of hope in the recent deluge of disappointment, it is that Thomas Vanek is feeling more comfortable as an Islander, and a Long Islander.

Lights out

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A power outage at Joe Louis Arena Monday morning darkened corridors and left an end of the rink in shadows as the Red Wings practiced. "I liked it," said Daniel Alfredsson, the 41-year-old forward. "We only skated half the ice. It was perfect."

Colin McDonald was back in the lineup last nightMonday night after having been scratched for four consecutive games. "The thing I learned the most is just how much I love playing the game. When they take that away from you, it kind of hits home. It just makes you realize how bad you want to be here," he said. "I'm just going to make sure that doesn't happen again, I want to get that chip back on my shoulder. In my mind, I'm looking at this as Game One for me." . . . A power outage at Joe Louis Arena yesterdayMondayMonday had corridors dark for the morning skate and lights on for only one end of the rink as the Red Wings practiced. "I liked it," Daniel Alfredsson, the Red Wings' 41-year-old forward said. "We only skated half the ice. It was perfect."

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