He and the Washington Capitals beat the defending champions three out of four times this year.
But Wideman knows better. The All-Star defenseman knows what regular-season success means this time of year.
“It means nothing,” Wideman said. “Boston, they’re a different team in the playoffs. We had success against them throughout the regular season, but I think you’re going to see a different team [when] we play them in the first round.”
It is Capitals vs. Bruins in the first round, beginning with Game 1 Thursday night at TD Garden. Washington got there by beating the New York Rangers 4-1 in Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, the kind of game that could be the recipe for success in the playoffs.
In knocking off the Eastern Conference-best Rangers, the Caps finally looked like a contender.
“I don’t know if it’s a statement win. It’s just we wanted to come in and play a good hockey game. That was it,” forward Brooks Laich said. “This time of year you don’t ever want to let anybody think that they can beat you. You certainly don’t want to have that losing feeling. So I don’t know if it’s a statement game. It’s just our team continuing to play well.”
No losing feeling, just four victories in their final five games to go into this series with momentum.
It helps that star center Nicklas Backstrom finally appears to be regaining his form four games back from a prolonged absence cause by a concussion. It helps that young goaltender Braden Holtby is feeling confident despite limited NHL action this season.
It also helps that the Caps didn’t look out of place against the big, strong and deep Bruins this season.
“It plays into it a little bit. They’ve got a lot of playoff experience with a Cup last year,” right wing Troy Brouwer said. “They play tough in the playoffs, and everyone will tell you when you get into the playoffs it’s a completely different game.”
A game that’s seemingly custom-made for the Bruins, whose interchangeable parts, tough defense and goaltending make them a favorite, if not the favorite, to come out of the Eastern Conference.
And though Boston likely would have preferred a matchup against the Ottawa Senators, general manager Peter Chiarelli didn’t sound worried about recent losses to the Caps.
“At some point, you’re going to have to play these teams to beat them. Oftentimes, the season magic doesn’t always translate into the postseason matchup,” Chiarelli said on a conference call Sunday. “Record shows that we haven’t played as well against Washington. For that reason, it probably is going to be a tougher opponent [than Ottawa]. Not disappointed. Just ready to move on and face them as opponents.”
The Caps are ready, too.View Entire Story
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
By John Solomon
How the government's punishing of the exposure of official wrongdoing can linger for years
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
First over-the-counter column approved for fast and effective relief from even your worst media-induced headache.
A collection of reader guest articles, thoughts and opinions by Communities writers and breaking news and information.
Great discoveries in the world of restaurants and chefs fulfill the quest for delicious food and cooking.
Paul Rondeau dissects the propaganda, media tricks, and other shenanigans targeting our families, faith, and freedom…and even life itself
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall
NRA kicks off annual convention