Lundin back up; Ohlund "very close" to returning to action
The "whirlwind" week continues for defenseman Mike Lundin, who was called back up from AHL Norfolk just one day after getting sent down.
Lundin, whom coach Rick Tocchet said played well in Sunday's game against the Thrashers, was sent back and met up with Norfolk in Wilkes-Barre late Monday night. He was in the middle of practice Tuesday morning when he got pulled off the ice by coaches; he was coming back to Tampa, and is expected to play tonight.
"It’s a lot of traveling, but exciting," Lundin said. "I was obviously hoping, but not really expecting to get called up the first time. And so getting sent back down, I thought, 'Ok, I’ll be back down for a while and hopefully I'll l get a chance, and I definitely wasn’t expecting the very next day to be back on my way here. It's been a bit of a whirlwind, but I'm happy to be back."
How long Lundin stays remains to be seen. Tocchet said defenseman Mattias Ohlund is "very close" to returning after missing four games with a right ankle injury. Ohlund was at practice Wednesday, and although he won't play tonight, Tocchet says he's "day-to-day."
Tocchet also said they want to get defenseman Matt Smaby into his first game of the season. Smaby, who is recovering from what is believed to be a cut on a finger on his left hand, has been on the outside looking as the Lightning blueline has been crowded.
"Smaby's close," Tocchet said. "We're gonna get him in the lineup next week. We've gotta start playing him. We have the luxury of having a lot of 'D' here, so it's a good thing. But sometimes it can be a negative for an individual."
With the influx of defensemen, Kurtis Foster got some shifts at forward Sunday against the Thrashers (he has three points in the last two games), and Tocchet said Foster will be a forward for tonight's game against the Maple Leafs.
"Obviously we need him for the power play, we just felt it's best to get him some shifts up front, so he stays warm," Tocchet said. "When you have a surplus of 'D', we're gonna try to find a spot for him, especially because he's a good power play guy."
-- JOE SMITH