Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

So far, so good for Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mike Lundin in latest callup

TAMPA — The smells of breakfast were more enjoyable this Christmas morning.

D Mike Lundin and his family gathered at his Minnesota home with no games for AHL Norfolk during Christmas week. Then came the call on Christmas Eve; Lundin was being recalled to the Lightning.

He's making the most of this trip.

The highlight has been his second-period goal Saturday in a 4-3 win against the Thrashers, his first goal in 111 NHL games.

He was rewarded with a spot Monday night against Boston. He played 17:12, had two shots and was minus-1.

Lundin's handling of the puck was a big part of his goal against Atlanta. He made a steal in the neutral zone, then turned up ice and dished to C Vinny Lecavalier at the blue line. Caught up in the rush, he kept chugging toward the net, took the return pass and flipped the puck high into the net.

When congratulatory text messages began pouring in, the reactions were similar.

"A lot of people didn't even know I was up here," Lundin said. "They thought I was in the minors, and now I'm on SportsCenter scoring. (The messages) filled the inbox."

Coach Rick Tocchet had this assessment: "He played really well. He had a solid game. He scored a goal, played well defensively. He was on the ice while (high-scoring Thrashers LW Ilya Kovalchuk) was on the ice with (Lightning D Mattias Ohlund). He did a nice job. He's proven that he's an NHL defenseman."

The 81 games Lundin played for the Lightning during the 2007-08 season gave him lots of ice time, but he began to lose confidence. He has spent most of the past two seasons in Norfolk getting plenty of opportunities in the top defensive pairings and on power plays, he said.

"Last year, I got that confidence back in the minors," Lundin said. "My game has improved a lot. Now it's just getting a chance to find a steady position up here. … I know my game is at the level where I can consistently play up here and contribute to the team."

Niittymaki returns: G Antero Niittymaki returned to back up Mike Smith after missing the Atlanta game while wife Miina gave birth Saturday night to daughter Alina Josefina. Niittymaki said Alina was six weeks premature. She weighed 5 pounds, 3 ounces and measured 18 inches.

"She'll have to stay (in the hospital). We're not sure how long," Niittymaki said. "Everything's going well, so hopefully not too long. … I've had a tough week mentally. … It's time to get back."

Mayday Malone: Entering Monday, LW Ryan Malone led the NHL in winning goals with seven. Malone has had a knack for scoring in clutch situations throughout his career. Tocchet said one reason is positioning. Malone is often camped in front of the net.

"Near the end of a game … usually guys intensify their defensive zone coverage, and people protect the house more," Tocchet said. "So the puck usually ends up there. So it's more of a battle. The guys that go to those areas get those goals."

Odds and ends: D Matt Walker, C Jeff Halpern and LW Todd Fedoruk remain on injured reserve with lower-body injuries, with no updates as of Monday's morning skate.

So far, so good for Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mike Lundin in latest callup 12/28/09 [Last modified: Monday, December 28, 2009 11:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lightning picks defenseman Cal Foote

    Blogs

    While the Lightning is still trying to bolster its blueline via trade, it selected a big, right shot defenseman Cal Foote at No. 14 overall Friday in the NHL Draft.

    Cal Foote is the son of former Avs defenseman Adam Foote.
  2. The Lightning's 2017-18 road jersey
  3. For starters: Ramus to DL, Peterson back, no further moves

    Blogs

    We were expecting a flurry of roster moves this afternoon and we got one. OF Colby Ramus is on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to June 19 with left hip tendinitis.

    Colby Ramus is on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to June 19 with left hip tendinitis.
  4. Jameis Winston stats: How the Bucs QB performed under pressure

    Bucs

    Every quarterback's performance declines when he faces pressure from the defense.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston faced pressure on more than 30 percent of his pass plays last season. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  5. Could Lightning deal for a defenseman today?

    Blogs

    Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman has been trying to further bolster his blueline, and he may have a chance to acquire one by tonight's first round of the NHL Draft.

    The Lightning is reportedly in on Travis Hamonic (Islanders), though New York is rumored to be asking for two-first round picks.