From Alzner to Wideman, we're taking a look at and grading (please read the criteria below) the 2010-11 season for every player who laced 'em up for the Caps for a significant number of games during the campaign, with an eye towards 2011-12. Last up, Dennis Wideman.
#6 / Defenseman / Washington Capitals
Mar 20, 1983
NHL Seasons: 7
Contract Status: $3,937,500 cap hit in 2010-11; $3,937,500 cap hit in 2011-12
Previous Rink Wraps: N/A
|Regular Season (FLA)||61||9||24||33||-26||33||8||11||1||135||6.7||23:58|
|Regular Season (WSH)||14||1||6||7||7||6||1||2||0||25||4.0||24:05|
Key Stat: 55% of Wideman's total points came on the power play, including three of his seven points with the Caps.
Interesting Stat: While in Florida, Wideman never went more than five games without being a minus; he was a plus or even player in all but two of his fourteen games with the Caps.
The Good: When the team acquired Wideman at the deadline for a draft pick and a prospect, they knew they were bringing in someone who could potentially boost the power play and bring a bit of stability to a blue line that had been worn away by injuries, most notably to Mike Green. And for the 14 games in which he dressed, Wideman was a more than adequate fill-in, skating just over 24 minutes a game for the Caps and providing the team with another puck-moving defenseman who could jump-start the attack.
During his brief regular season campaign in DC, Wideman was on the ice for 20 Caps' goals (twice as many as fellow deadline acquisition Jason Arnott in just three more games) and just 13 goals-against. He was relied upon for a good deal of special teams work, with about a quarter of his average ice time coming either on the power play or the penalty kill, and he led the team in shorthanded time on ice per game, skating just over three minutes a night 4-on-5. During that time he was on the ice for just four power play goals against; he also skated close to four minutes a night on the power play, and had points on three of the six power play goals the team scored during his fourteen games.
The Bad: As solid as Wideman was for the Caps, he definitely had a few rough patches, particularly in a game against the Flyers in which he was on the ice (and at times responsible) for every single goal scored - for both teams - in an eventual 5-4 shootout victory for the Caps. And considering that he was brought in partially to help out the power play, it didn't show much improvement overall and in fact connected at a slightly lower rate than it had over the course of the season, with just six power play goals scored on 37 chances for a success rate of 16.2%.
Like some of his fellow blueliners, however, Wideman's 2010-11 campaign with the Caps was cut short by injury when he sustained a leg contusion in a game against Carolina on March 29. He was eventually hospitalized with compartment syndrome, a nasty-sounding ailment that kept him out of the lineup for the remainder of the regular season and the entire postseason. That he had begun skating with the team towards the end of the first round was reason for hope that he could dress in the playoffs, but the Caps' quick exit in round two at the hands of the Lightning made it impossible for him to return to the lineup.
The Vote: Rate Wideman below on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best) based on his performance relative to his potential and your expectations for the season - if he had the best year you could have imagined him having, give him a 10; if he more or less played as you expected he would, give him a 5 or a 6; if he had the worst year you could have imagined him having, give him a 1.
The Discussion: As someone who spent a quarter of his time on special teams last March, what do you see Wideman’s role being on the power play and penalty kill going forward, particularly if Mike Green and John Carlson are healthy? What are your expectations for him offensively next season? After a month of skating with a number of different defense partners, who would you like to see Wideman be paired with next year? Finally, what would it take for Wideman to earn a '10' next season?