Tuesday @ The Rink

CHAT LIVE With Maine Defenseman Mike Lundin

Welcome to the CSTV.com moderated chat room!

On Monday, April 2 at 11:00 a.m. ET, Maine defenseman and assistant captain Mike Lundin enters the chatroom at "Tuesday @ The Rink", presented by CSTV.com and USCHO.com. The Black Bears are one of the participants in this season's Frozen Four.



Mike


Mike Lundin knows a thing or two about Frozen Fours. Thursday's game against Michigan State will mark Lundin's third trip to the Frozen Four in his four years at Maine. Lundin has had a key role in getting the Black Bears to St. Louis, with six goals and 14 assists in 39 games for Maine this season.

In his junior year in 2005-06, Lundin had three goals and 13 assists, a key member of a Black Bear blueline corps that got the team to the national semifinals against eventual NCAA champ Wisconsin. In 2004-05, Lundin had a goal and 13 assists as the Black Bears qualified for the NCAA tournament. In 2003-04, Lundin was the only freshman to start all 44 games for Maine, recording three goals and 16 assists as the Black Bears came within a goal of the NCAA title.

Mike was selected in the fourth round (102nd overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft by the Tampa Bay Lightning. He was a captain of the hockey team at Apple Valley High School and a finalist for Minnesota's Mr. Hockey Award in 2003.


** GET YOUR QUESTIONS IN NOW!!: Mike won't be stopping by until 11:00 a.m. EST on Monday, April 2nd, and his time will be limited, so feel free to submit your questions now and we'll save them for his arrival!
CSTV.com Moderator: Good morning, and welcome to a special Monday edition of "Tuesday @ the Rink," presented by CSTV.com and USCHO. We're joined now by Maine defenseman Mike Lundin.
Mike Lundin: Hi everyone, I'm excited for the Frozen Four and ready to take your questions.

T Wilson (Drexel Hill): Hey Mike, You guys have looked really crisp and clicking in the tournament. When Coach does his pre-game radio interview, he talks about the 3 keys to the game... can you give us any preview about the Team's keys for Thursday? M-A-I-N-E!, Go Blue!, T. Wilson - Black Bear Class of 2002
Mike Lundin: The three keys for our upcoming game are probably just to stick with what we did in our previous two NCAA games, because it worked for us and we played well as a team: Put together a 60-minute game, play solid defensively and key in on special teams.

Rob from Minneapolis: Mike, congratulations on having an outstanding career at Maine. You were clearly the best high school player in the state when you graduated. Despite not playing in front of your hometown crowd, you have to feel great about your decision to choose Maine. How did the Gopher's let you get away?
Mike Lundin: Thank you. It's been an unbelievable career here. I couldn't have asked for a better situation here at Maine. Coming out of high school, it was kind of the junior route that lots of colleges were looking at, especially the Gophers. I was never a physical-style player, as you can see by my play at Maine, and teams like the Gophers were worried about me not being physically strong enough to jump right into the college level. Maine was in need of a defenseman, and somehow the great recruiting ways of Grant Standbrook, he had never seen me play, he called me up three weeks before school started as I was about to head to the USHL. I came out to see the campus, and then I was coming back two weeks later to start school.

Brian (Boston): You've evolved into a dominant defensive defenseman, is that a skill that was learned or is it more a matter of maturing as a hockey player?
Mike Lundin: It's probably a combination of both of those things. I've always been told one of my strengths is being able to read the ice and being aware of opponents and dangerous situations, so that part has really helped me excel defensively, but there's no way I'd be playing as solid defensively without the help and teaching of some great coaches along the way.

sean heagen Minneapolis: Mike we having been watching you this year, and noticed that your phyical play has picked up a bit what are your thoughts on that?
Mike Lundin: It's something that I'm going to need to add eventually if I want to continue playing hockey. I've just gotten so used to poke-checking and winning puck battles that that's been what's worked best for me. Physical play is something that I do want to improve on, and it's good to hear that I look a little better at it.

Kevin (Bangor, Maine): Mike, great job in getting us back there, we're all behind you! What impact has having Ben Bishop back mentally for you guys?
Mike Lundin: Thanks for your support. Ben Bishop is a huge part of our team, and as you can tell, we weren't the same team without him. It wasn't David Wilson's fault by any means, he played great for us, but we hung him out to dry, and we didn't seem like the same team without Ben Bishop. He's a leader back there for us, helps settle the play down, and improves our overall game.

Floyd (Bristol, CT): How early in the game do you guys know if you "have it" or not. It seems in the first 5 minutes your passes are either crisp or bouncing over sticks and that trend remains true throughout the game. Your thoughts?
Mike Lundin: We usually can tell early in the game whether we have that sharp focus that we need to win or if we're a bit sloppy. Sometimes, especially in these high-pressure games, it takes a little more than five minutes to tell, because nervousness and excitement can cause some of that sloppy play. It is important for us to continue working hard even if things aren't clicking early, because I think our team has the ability to improve throughout the game.

Kevin Bangor: As a fan, it always amazes me that Maine can take it to a new level in the NCAA tourney. Why is Maine always such a tough out and looks like a new team in the NCAA'?
Mike Lundin: It's not something that our team prides ourselves on. We'd like to think of ourselves as more consistent. Hoewver, in the past, we have seemed to rise to the occasion in the most important games. I think it's a combination of great leadership starting from the coaches, experience in those types of games, and the great team unity that the University of Maine hockey team has always had, at least in my four years there.

Richard Sebago Lake Maine: Hey Mike what do you and the guys think of the way maine fans travel because we do it better then anybody else we have pre game rallys and it's a huge event that must really make you feel good knowing you have all that support there on the road ?
Mike Lundin: It's an unbelievable advantage that our team has over other teams. It's what makes the Maine program so strong. It means a great deal to have that support to all of us players. Seeing fans drive 10 hours or more to regional games just to cheer us on and support us gives us an extra boost before the game.

Andy (Hampden): Do you even have a penalty this year? What is the key to staying out of the box and can you teach some of your teammates? :)
Mike Lundin: I have one penalty this year so far. For me, it's a much easier task, because I'm not the most physical player. When you have a physical style of play, which many guys on our team do, you're bound to pick up a few penalties. I also think my parents have taught me throughout the years dealing with a close brother not to let my emotions and temper get the best of me in those heated situations. As for my teammates, the penalty situation has been something our team has battled with all year and tried to control. There has been some improvement, but it's tough with such competitive guys to always completely control your emotions and strength.

Charlie from Trenton, Maine: Mike- Congrats on the team success in the NCAA's. What has made the Maine power play so good year after year?
Mike Lundin: Thank you. I think there's a couple of things that really go into making such a strong power play. Our coaches focus on it very often, and we pay close attention to detail. It's not something where you can just put skilled players together and it'll click. It's something that takes a lot of practice and a lot of work, and that work is definitely put in here. I think our players have been especially good at reading each other and being able to work together, and knowing where your own players are going to be and what they're going to do with the puck gives you an extreme advantage on the power play.

Jeff, Apple Valley: Any chance you can take out the garbage this weekend? Matt won't help out around the house much these days.
Mike Lundin: I'm used to picking up little brother's slack. I'll help you out when I get back as long as you get me that dental assistant job.

Rusty (New Hampshire): Mike, Do you feel that the time off during HE playoffs helped the team refocus and get back on track? It seems that the team is playing with alot more fire. Thanks and good luck in St. Louis! Huge Maine fan in NH, Go Black Bears!
Mike Lundin: It's something that, unfortunately, made a big difference, and helped us a lot in making it to the Frozen Four. People always say that you learn from your mistakes, and losing those four games to UMass and keeping us out of the Hockey East finals really taught our team a lot and helped us figure out what we were doing wrong and why we were losing. It gave us two full weeks to get back down to basics and really eliminate our problem areas. It was a terrible feeling getting knocked out that early and thinking that your season was over, but looking back at it, I don't think we would have made it to the Frozen Four without that experience.

tomt Winthrop, Me.: Mike: I know within the state, your team gets alot of support---but do you sometimes feel that nationally, despite the success, Maine hockey still doesn't get what they are "due"?
Mike Lundin: I think sometimes, nationally, or at least in the polls, it kind of feels like we're always ranked lower than we think we deserve. The state support is incredible, and I don't think there's another program in the nation that has better support, and even nationally, I think we're recognized. When my family flies, they always run into people who know about Maine hockey. Of course, winning a national championship means people have to respect you.
CSTV.com Moderator: That is all the time we have with Mike this morning.
Mike Lundin: Thanks for all your support. It means a lot to our program, it got us where we are. Just stick with us for a couple more games, and hopefully we can bring back some hardware.
CSTV.com Moderator: That will do it for this morning's "Tuesday @ the Rink Chat." Come back this afternoon at 2 p.m., as we have just added a special chat with Boston College forward Dan Bertram. See you then!