BOSTON — Someday when Tyler Seguin is at the end of his multi-Cup-winning, 1,000-point-plus NHL career, he’ll look back fondly at Mike Lundin.
Lundin, however, won’t want to remember that he was the dupe in Seguin’s first career NHL playoff goal.
The move by the Bruins’ Seguin will be a fixture on highlight shows for years to come. Lundin might have to change the channel a few times, but on the ice there’s no remote control. Forgetting about the play that nearly turned him into a pretzel is something he can only do with some mental fortitude.
“It’s a mental battle. You got to just try to, whether it’s a good play or a bad play, you just try to just play one shift at a time. And it’s important to get that out of your head,” he said today after the Lightning’s morning skate in preparation for tonight’s Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final with Tampa Bay up 1-0 in the series.
Lundin made it through the rest of his 14:29 of ice time without a Bruins goal getting scored on the Lightning. That’s no surprise to Tampa Bay head coach Guy Boucher, who has come to hold the 26-year-0ld to a high standard.
“I would say for the biggest portion of the year, [Lundin] played against the first lines. And I don’t think he was expecting that. I don’t think anybody was expecting that,” explained Boucher this week. “But he’s so smart, he controls his gap very well. He reads the play, and so he compensates for probably his lack of size and maybe his lack of speed and strength.
“And when you look at the package, he becomes a guy that’s kind of a mistake-free player. It was weird, the other day he fell on that goal and it was really uncharacteristic of him. And basically that’s good, because that’s his mistake of the month. So we’ll take it at that.”
Just one mistake a month? It has to be difficult to live up to that. It keeps Lundin striving for perfection, however. And it tells him his coach has faith in him.
“Definitely. I think at this level of play, hopefully I’ve proved to him that that’s not what I do normally,” said Lundin. “I think he knows that that’s not going to happen.”
So if Seguin and Lundin meet again in the open ice, maybe the result will be different … at least for the rest of this month.