“We want the cup” rained down on the Madison Square Garden ice for the final ten minutes of game seven of the Eastern Conference semi finals.
Roman Hamrlik would steal Henrik Lundqvist’s shut out, but while eager fans were hanging on the edge of their section trying not to fall from anticipation, Dennis Wideman was parked on the bench.
Playing a season-low 15:16 the normally solid defenseman could only watch the inevitable happen right before his eyes. Wideman was in the doghouse after a series of irrelevance.
The series was just a second chapter of his brutal playoffs posting a mere three points in fourteen games. In a matter of two weeks, Wideman went from one of Washington’s top five players in ice time to the bottom half in game seven.
At six-feet 200-pounds, he brings an athletic body and some experience to a Flames defense that despite having a lot of size, was just as irrelevant as Wideman’s ice time last year.
Calgary’s defense is loaded with guys who would rather take a double minor than say their plus/minus when asked (leading scorer Jay Bouwmeester has a -21 rating). Wideman should fit right in with a -8 rating, but his offensive presence might be able to spark a dull team.
The Kitchner born skater can pass, much better than he can shoot and about as good as he can play defense. Even in the playoffs Wideman passed, his only three points came off of assists. He had 35 assists during the regular season, which is more total points than any of the Flames’ defenders had last year.
Calgary was a team that defensively stayed at home, yet was tied for 20th in shots against per game with 30 and tied for 13th in goals allowed per game (much thanks to Kipper).
Wideman’s 132 blocked shots are also more than any other Flame had last season. The tallies are a little bit closer than points, but still in the former Capital’s favor.
Was $5.25-million a year for five years overpaying? Absolutely. But Wideman will bring some offensive stability to a defense that is passive at best and the Flames gave up a fifth round draft pick and Jordan Henry, a player who will never play in the NHL.
By no means does this make the Flames a contender. It makes them a little bit better and maybe in two years we will look back at this move being another piece in the puzzle to fixing a broken franchise. But I doubt it.
I think the signing of Wideman was a step in the opposite direction. I cant see the flames making the playoffs next season with this team, and I think they need a major over hall
A leafs style overhaul? No thanks. The leafs are 5 years in to an overhaul and still finish in the bottom 5.
Flames are 4 years into a.... not an overhaul, sure has been working well.
Still better off then the leafs.
i think theres all one thing we can decide on in canada, whos canadas worst franchise right now? CALGARY!!! sorry flamer fans, its time you stop drinking the juice and get over it, hopefully you have something in 5 years to go along with your 2012 first round draft pick, cause hell be lucky to play in the nhl period!!
Actually PhillyD39, think the Jets own that title, followed closely by the OilCalgary is getting there pretty quickly though, even though they are trying to win now.
The problem with the flames is they are not stocked well in terms of prospects and they seem to just get older every year the flames need to get young pieces for iginla and kipper to build the future. The leafs may not be doingMuch better but they at least have some youth to build on all calgarys big pieces are over 32 except jbo flames need a rebuild ASAP btw I'm not a leafs fan
Wideman obviously helps one of the league's worst power plays. Plus minus is a horrible stat to use as a comparative measure. Jay bouwmeester had a -20 something because he plays top 6 minutes. When I say top six, I mean in the NHL. Wideman is a huge offensive boon to the D. A btter power play would hve conceivably pushed the flames into the playoffs.