Things had been going a bit too smoothly of late in Washington. The Caps got Alexander Ovechkin and Jason Arnott back from injury and Mike Green was continuing to improve in his recovery from a concussion to get back in the lineup. All the while newest Cap defenseman Dennis Wideman had put his minus days in Florida behind him while filling Green’s shoes for the time being on the blue line.
Now the Caps are going back to square one from where they were before on defense as Wideman will be out week-to-week with a lower body injury. Stephen Whyno of The Washington Times hears from Caps coach Bruce Boudreau about Wideman’s status.
“It’s just he’s not ready for tonight and he won’t be ready for Saturday, so it has to be week-to-week,” Bruce Boudreau said.
Asked if Wideman could return before the end of the regular season, the Caps coach couldn’t give a straight answer.
“I couldn’t tell you that right now,” he said. “I wish I was a doctor, but right now I don’t know.”
Imagine Bruce Boudreau as a doctor. Who wouldn’t want to go see him just for the laughs he’d provide? Not to mention his office would probably have plenty of free candy. Alas…
With Wideman out and Green without a real timetable for his return, Tyler Sloan will fill in on defense. If you think that doesn’t bode well for the Caps power play, you’re probably right. Wideman’s shot and ability to run a more effective man advantage have helped the Caps somewhat snap out of their power play funk they’ve had most of the season.
For Sloan this is about as big of a chance as he’s had this year to show the Caps and Caps fans that he’s got something positive to provide the team. Sloan has a goal and five assists in 30 games this year and is a -5 in plus/minus. If Caps fans are not going to pine over Green and Wideman, those numbers will have to improve.