The Washington Times - January 27, 2012, 11:58AM

Dennis Wideman’s NHL All-Star appearance came as a surprise to a lot of people, including himself. But many around the Washington Capitals disagreed with the notion it was so shocking.

“I don’t think that there should be too much surprise,” defenseman Karl Alzner said. “He’s been putting up good numbers, and that’s what you want to see in that game is guys that can do stuff with the puck, and Dennis is one of those guys. We’re all really excited for him.”

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Added veteran Roman Hamrlik, a three-time All-Star himself: “I think he has a good year and he deserve it. I wasn’t surprised. He’s got lots of points and he give us some quality minutes every game. He should be there. I wasn’t surprised at all.”

Wideman is averaging 24:30 of ice time and playing all situations. He has 33 points, good for a tie for third in the league among defensemen.

“Especially over the last month or so he’s really excelled,” defenseman John Carlson said. “He was great at the beginning, too, but he took his game to the next level and it’s a great honor and I’m happy for him.”

Wideman will be playing for Team Chara, picked by Bruins defenseman and All-Star captain Zdeno Chara in the 15th round of Thursday night’s draft.