Dennis Wideman was talking like a man who didn’t like seeing piles of hats on Verizon Center’s rink Friday night. And the Washington Capitals defenseman who had at least two goals said he wasn’t thinking about the hat trick. “I never had one before – still haven’t had one,” he said.
He was adamant that the third goal credited to him belonged to Brooks Laich – “the third one went off Brooksie, so I’m pretty sure that one’s going to come back,” he said. Laich didn’t want to admit it, but players know when the puck goes in off them.
On Saturday morning, it became official: No hat trick for Wideman, as the NHL changed the Caps’ fourth goal of their 4-2 victory over the Maple Leafs to Laich from Wideman and John Carlson. Wideman learned of the scoring change from reporters Saturday morning.
He knew all along it wasn’t his goal.
“They moved it up, Carly slid it across and I took the shot and I could see it just going in,” Wideman said. “It was probably going to go a little bit wide, and then it hit Brooksie’s leg and just went directly sideways in the net. I knew right away. I think you would’ve gotten a little bigger celebration out of me if it was actually my third goal.”
Wideman asked the NHL to look at the goal. Coach Dale Hunter was asked if he would ever volunteer to give up a hat trick like that and just chuckled.
“It’s kind of an unwritten rule where if the players deserve it, you deserve it,” he said.
So, honesty is the best policy?
“Good karma,” Wideman said. “Good karma.”
Nevertheless, it was still the first two-goal game of Wideman’s career and a new career high with four points. None of those are being taken away.
“Two goals and they’re all shots. They’re just slap shots,” he said. “Sometimes they miss the net and other times they get blocked and other times they get in. Last night was one of those nights that everything kind of went in.”