Dennis Wideman isn’t the hardest Capitals player to replace, but he sure isn’t the easiest, either. Bruce Boudreau hopes he won’t have to, but he’s prepared.
Wideman missed practice Wednesday with a lower-body injury that the coach termed as “day-to-day.”
Tyler Sloan figures to step into the lineup Thursday night against the Blue Jackets if Wideman can’t go, though Boudreau said he didn’t know if the defenseman would miss that game.
On the power play and in other facets, the Caps would certainly miss Wideman’s presence.
“He moves the puck well out of his zone, he’s calm under fire, he’s done a lot of great things for us,” Boudreau said. “Power play is one of the places because he coincided with him coming here was Mike Green going down, it was an easy slide into that situation. If he can’t play tomorrow, we’ll find somebody else.”
On the power play that could mean Eric Fehr back at the point on the second unit, with Alex Ovechkin sliding out there on the first group. But Boudreau’s mixing and matching hoping to find someone to take Wideman’s place.
Sloan said he wasn’t sure who he would be paired with if thrown into the lineup.
As for Tuomo Ruutu’s hit that knocked Wideman out of Tuesday night’s game, Boudreau gave his response to it Wednesday.
“You know what, he was falling,” Boudreau said. “I don’t think it was a high hit or anything. When you’re falling, you become vulnerable in a lot of positions; you’re trying to protect your fall and everything else. It’s just an unfortunate accident.”