Dennis Wideman was on the ice for eight of the Boston Bruins’ 13 even-strength goals in the first-round series won by the Washington Capitals. At times late in the series he looked hesitant with the puck and was the subject of scorn from many who considered him a goat.
“Oh did they?” Wideman said with a smirk. “I didn’t read.”
That’s probably for the best. But the 29-year-old defenseman did not have the same assessment of his play.
“You’re on the ice, you’re on the ice. I thought I had a pretty good series defensively. I didn’t lose my guy a whole lot and didn’t have any real bad breakdowns where I got beat. I was on the ice for some goals,” Wideman said Friday. “I thought I played well. I was happy with my series.”
Wideman, an All-Star during the regular season with 11 goals and 35 assists, had one assist and a minus-4 rating against the Bruins. The defenseman is usually bluntly critical of himself when he’s playing poorly, like when he called himself a “turnstile” after a bad game keeping up with Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty in March.
“That game didn’t go so well,” he said. “We don’t need to talk about that, do we?”
It was interesting that Wideman was as positive as he was about the Bruins series, though he admitted it wasn’t perfect.
“I thought it was all right. I think it’s tough playing against former teams in the playoffs. When I was out there, I thought I played pretty good,” Wideman said. “I didn’t feel real comfortable sometimes, on the power play and stuff like that, but I think it came around as the series went on. Early on it was a little nerve-wracking.”
Some of the trouble stemmed from spending parts of four seasons in Boston and having some friends on the Bruins.
“It’s not emotional. It’s just different,” Wideman said. “It’s hard to get that edge that you need in playoffs, that extra step where you really dislike people when you still talk to them. That can be a little bit difficult. I thought I played well. I was happy with my series.”