Making an impact
Flames forward Jamie Lundmark makes the most of being called up this season
At the same time, the Calgary Flames forward wishes he could close the deal on his yo-yo act between the minors and The Show.
In his second call-up of his ninth professional season, Lundmark has again flashed the calling card he's been carrying with the Flames for the last two years -- a penchant for timely, important goals.
Saturday night at Vancouver's GM Place, Lundmark notched the tying goal, then beat Roberto Luongo on a fabulous backhand move for the shootout clincher as the Flames beat their Northwest Division nemesis, 3-2.
"When I've come up (from the AHL) the past couple of years, it's being put into a role where I help the team as much as I can," the 28-year-old center from Edmonton told reporters on Monday morning, prior to the Flames home game against the Colorado Avalanche.
"I'm not going to get away from that. If I come up and play well, and fit in and contribute the way I think I can contribute, other things will happen. I can't get frustrated with (being unable to stick). I've just got to keep playing hard, coming out every night, being consistent."
Lundmark, a former 9th-overall draft choice of the New York Rangers, has put up eye-catching numbers for his limited NHL ice time this season.
He's got two goals, including the game-winner on Nov. 27 at Detroit, and two assists in eight games. He's also scored the deciding goal in two of the Flames three shootout wins in 2009-10 Saturday against the Canucks, and Nov. 28 at Columbus.
Last season, he posted eight goals among 16 points in 27 games with Calgary, nearly all of them after being summoned Feb. 20 and staying in the Stampede City.
Lundmark has also shown chemistry and aptitude as the left-winger for Iginla and Olli Jokinen, a position that has been a veritable revolving door since Jokinen arrived in a March trade.
But Flames head coach Brent Sutter suggested Monday that theres still a good reason for Lundmark having spent the majority of this winter with the AHLs Abbotsford Heat.
"Jamie's done a good job. When he was up earlier (for six games in late November), he played well for us, and the two games he's played so far (during this stint), he's played well," said Sutter. "But we need that from Jamie, and that shouldn't be a surprise to us. It shouldn't be a surprise to him or his teammates.
"We need him to play well, and give us what he can. He's a skilled player, and his work ethic needs to be at a high standard that allows his skills to flourish. As a team, we want our players to be consistent. We expect that from you when you're here, and you should expect that from yourself, too."
Lundmark has played 267 career games in the NHL, but nearly half of them came during his first two years of pro with the Blueshirts, between 2002 and 04.
Since then, he's bounced around with Phoenix, Los Angeles, the KHLs Moscow Dynamo and Calgary, during a previous 51-game stint as a Flame.
"There's different timelines for every player. You've got guys who come out of junior at 18 years old, and come in and score 60, 70 points. You've got guys that develop in the minors for a few years that can play," said Lundmark.
"For me, as a younger player, I think I was on teams where I didn't learn a lot. It took me a few more years to grow. Obviously, now, I think I've learned a lot. I've played for a lot of different teams. I've played for a lot of different coaches. I've learned a lot of different things, and its certainly helping me now."
Lundmark is certainly enjoying himself more than he did during his last summons in mid-December. Afflicted with a possible case of stomach flu, or food poisoning, Lundmark spent a wretched night in his Calgary hotel room, called the club's medical staff in the morning, and returned to Abbotsford. His recall didn't even qualify as an official transaction.
"I couldn't do anything about it. I was in my (hotel) bed . . . I couldn't even move. That's the way it was," Lundmark told the Calgary Herald. "It was obviously bad luck. And bad timing.
Felt great that night. Felt great on the plane. But I ate a sandwich in the Abbotsford airport . . . it could have been that. I don't know what it was."
Lundmark played Monday against the Avs and again was chosen for the shootout but had the puck rol off his stick as he tried to deke Craig Anderson as the Avs defeated Calgary 3-2 in a shootout.