The hit Dennis Wideman took March 29 from the Hurricanes’ Tuomo Ruutu looked innocent enough, even though the Capitals defenseman left the game with a “lower-body” injury and never returned. Then it was revealed Wideman had leg hematoma and compartment syndrome – a “pretty serious” injury, Bruce Boudreau admitted.
The latest update on Wideman isn’t too encouraging, as the Caps coach confirmed what GM George McPhee said on ESPN 980 Wednesday afternoon about ruling the veteran blue liner out for at least the first round of the playoffs.
“I gotta believe that’s true,” Boudreau said.
Then asked if there was an optimistic timetable for Wideman’s return, Boudreau gave the opposite response.
“No. We don’t know. It’s one of those things that this time next week we’ll know a lot more than we know now,” he said. “It all depends how his rehab goes and how quick he takes to it. He’s a guy that’s used to playing an awful lot of hockey games, and I gotta believe when he’s allowed to go back full at it, that it won’t take long for him to get there. But right now he’s still not doing much.”
McPhee said on radio that the cut on Wideman’s leg is still open – which doesn’t sound conducive to a return soon. If the Caps are able to advance, the second round would likely begin in very late April. The team is still officially listing him as “week-to-week” though indefinitely seems to better describe Wideman’s situation at the moment.
Boudreau said he wasn’t sure if Wideman was out of the hospital.
“I don’t know. I haven’t seen him in a few days,” he said. “I haven’t seen him since the injury, actually, ’cause he was in the hospital.”
As for Mike Green, the All-Star is expected to return to the lineup Saturday in the regular-season finale at the Panthers. That’s not a definite, Boudreau said, but “He’s ready to play, if we decide to play him.”