Name: Dennis Wideman
Status: $3,937,500 cap-hit through 2011-12 season
2009-10 Defensive partners: (dobberhockey.com)
Playoffs, EV: 55.87% w/ Matt Hunwick
Playoffs, PP: 72.34% w/Johnny Boychuk
Regular Season, EV: 26.23% w/ Zdeno Chara
Regular season, PP: 36.76% w/ Chara
The Good: It’s not how you start, but how you finish, is one cliche. Another one is — that I picked up from an old boss a few years ago — no one remembers your first day, just your last’. Well, that last one isn’t necessarily the case with Wideman, but he certainly had a far better second half of the season than the first.
A tremendous skater with good vision and the exceptional ability to rush the puck, No. 6 was one of coach Julien’s top option to anchor the power play — alongside Big Z — logging the third-most minutes on the team during the regular season with the man-advantage. The team leader in points (12) and assists (11) in the playoffs, Wideman also led all Bruins players during the regular season — until the acquisition of Seidenberg — with 110 blocked shots.
The Bad: The scapegoat for the majority of the season, Bruins’ fans even made a “Trade Wideman for this Traffic Cone” Facebook page for some horrendous play throughout the season, as only Matt Hunwick — minus-16 — had a worse plus/minus that Wideman’s minus-14 this season. No. 6 owes the NHL stat-keepers dinner and a movie after only accounting him for 50 giveaways — second to Chara’s team-high 65 — as it seemed like Wideman accounted for 50 turnovers a game.
Only this upcoming 2010-11 NHL season will tell if the Kitchener, Ontario native’s 2008-09 season (19-31–50, plus-32) was an over-achievement, or this past year (6-24–30, minus-14) was a complete debacle. As a Wideman apologist myself, I’m rooting for the former — as I still believe Wideman is a very good defenseman who just so happened to have a horrible season.
Tomorrow’s Report Card: No. 16, Marco Sturm.
Check out my other report cards right here.