So far, so good for Lundin

The smells of breakfast were more enjoyable this Christmas morning.

Defenseman 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.

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 minors, and now I’m on (TV) 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.”