Lundin Back From Back; Backstrom Back In Goal Tomorrow

Posted by Mike Doyle

Mike Lundin’s return to Minnesota hasn’t gone quite the like the Burnsville native planned.

After signing with the Wild in July, the former Apple-Valley standout has been sidelined the entire season with a back injury. Today was the first time Lundin skated with the team since the practice prior to the first pre-season game against the Edmonton Oilers on Sept. 20.

“It’s been a long wait,” Lundin said. “Little rusty with some tough spots out there, but it just feels good to be skating with the guys.”

Lundin, 27, has appeared in 224 NHL games with the Tampa Bay Lightning and will give head coach Mike Yeo yet another option on the team’s burgeoning D-corps.

The blue liner said there is some timing issues that he has to acclimate to, like making passes, but overall felt like he held his own in the return.

Lundin will travel with the Wild as they leave for Calgary today, but Yeo said there is no timetable for his return to game action and it will be dependent on how he responds in practices.

Tomorrow night’s game against the Flames will be the first of a five-game road trip and Niklas Backstrom will return to the Wild net for the first times since a 3-2 loss to Anaheim on Oct. 27.

Josh Harding was stellar during his four-game stint as starter, garnering the NHL’s ‘First Star’ for the week ending Nov. 6.

Yeo said it is important not to push Backstrom to the back burner and that he is an integral part of the Wild lineup.

“We can’t forget what (Backstrom) has done for us,” Yeo said. “There were a couple games there that I don’t think we get points in unless he plays as well as he did.”

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