18 year old veterans: Interviews with Chance Lund and Erik Fleming
Forward Chance Lund and Defenseman Erik Fleming are only 18 years old yet it seems as though they have been with the Thunderbirds forever. Lund was picked 4th round 82nd overall and Fleming 1st round 16th overall in the 2007 Bantam Draft. They have been on the team since the 2008-2009 season when they were 16 years old. They are both going to be counted on if the Birds are to reach the post season.
On growing up in a small town vs playing in Seattle
I’ve got more space up north doing stuff with friends, golf and stuff. Down here it’s different traffic wise, you have to leave earlier to get to the arena. My billets are really good so they make it a lot easier for me. My first year it took a while to get used to.
On his accomplishments this season
At the beginning of the season I started off slow and I was getting a bit frustrated with it. There was a point in a Tri-City game where I had a fight for the first time in a while. I took some frustration out and ever since then I have had some meetings with coaches, and I’m more confident. I also have more energy at practices. I’ve worked on doing things at higher speeds and ever since then I’ve been producing points. Being on a line with Toomey and Gallimore has helped.
On the importance of confidence when it comes to scoring
Being able to get chances and rebound opportunities. Using my size and speed. We get more production working in the offensive zone. Being the first one on rebounds, putting those pucks on net. It all makes it easier for my line mates to play off of.
On getting used to his increase in size
It definitely takes a lot to get used to. It has to do with working out. As you get bigger you have to do more leg exercises. Doing stuff with quick feet, and when you get on the ice you have to work on moving your feet fast so you can get your speed to stay with you.
On the mindset of the team right now
It’s positive. We know we need points. It’s starting to get a little nerve wracking. We know we have to come out and get these points and really battle. It’s playoffs from here on out. We have to win those one goal games.
On the recent injuries to the team
It’s a battle missing players. It takes a lot out of the team. Another way to look at it is that other guys will get more ice time so they can show what they can do. We need guys to step up and really start scoring.
On the pressure of expectations
It does put pressure on me. It’s really frustrating when I don’t produce. I haven’t produced that much in the last three years. I’m starting to produce now which feels good and its relieving. But it’s not just scoring it’s also wearing guys out for the big scorers. It’s about hitting bodies and being a presence every game that can help our top line produce points.
On his season so far
It’s been a bit of an up and down season. I was hurt early on so it took a bit to work back from that. It’s a positive to feel more comfortable out there, that you can make plays. I’m going to continue to work on stuff.
On getting more ice time when guys are hurt
I look forward to that. The more you play the more you feel you can do out there. I’m going to try to take advantage of that.
On playing up front at times
To be honest it’s a nice change sometimes. You feel less pressure some times. You can just skate around and have fun out there. It’s difficult sometimes going from D to forward from shift to shift but I’ll do what I’m asked. I feel a little lost at forward sometimes but people seem to think I do well there so that’s nice.
On cutting down on those high shot totals against
We definitely need to do a better job of stopping those shots. Most teams think they need to get a lot of shots and crash the net in order to be successful against a goalie like Picks. We still have to do a better job but its tough sometimes. You have to be ready to battle in front of the net and clear out rebounds. You have to go stick on stick to prevent shots. I think we have been doing a better job of that.
On staying positive in a tough stretch that has similarities to last season
I’d say its different from last year. We struggled the entire season last year. This year we have played well in stretches. We just have to get back to playing well. I see it completely differently than last season.
On his dad attending a lot of games
It’s great getting the support. He has some free time. Calgary isn’t that far from Seattle (about a 10-12 hr drive). It’s nice to have him in town.
On his off-season workout routine
It’s pretty standard. There is a gym in Calgary where a lot of hockey players go. I don’t know if its harder or easier than what other guys do but I like my routine.
On what the team needs to do to make the playoffs
Well it’s a lot tighter this year than I ever remember it. We have a lot of four point games against the teams we are battling against. We have to put out our best effort and make sure we get points cause it’s huge.