It’s probably safe to say Dennis Wideman likes playing in Washington. Since being acquired at the 2011 trade deadline, the 28-year-old rearguard made his first ever NHL All-Star game, scored his first career hat trick and finished with his highest point total (45) in three years.
Also safe to say? That Wideman likes playing in Washington far more than he did in Boston.
As CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty explains it, the end of Wideman’s tenure in Boston was marked by catcalls from Bruins fans, putting him on par with whipping boys of years past (see: Gill, Hal) and present (see: Corvo, Joe).
Wideman says he remembers the boos, but also that he wasn’t playing well.
“I was getting frustrated,” he said. “They’re knowledgeable hockey fans, so I assumed they weren’t too happy with the way I was playing.
“They were just being Boston fans. They don’t put up with that. That’s just the way it is.”
While Wideman says he isn’t using that treatment as fuel for revenge — “I don’t know if I’m motivated by proving anybody wrong,” he explained — his numbers suggest he likes facing his ex-mates. In four games against Boston this year Wideman posted 2G-1A-3PTS while averaging over 25 minutes a night, above his average TOI per game.
Despite these numbers, the Caps defenseman said he holds no grudge towards the organization for shipping him out of town.
“It’s business. That’s the way it works,” he said. “I don’t sit there and say ‘I can’t believe they traded me’ because that’s not how it is.
“Look around and watch the other sports. That’s just the way it works.”
The Buffalo Sabres have recalled forward Justin Bailey from AHL Rochester.
It’s the first time Bailey, a second-round pick in 2013, has ever been called up to the NHL. The 20-year-old joins the big club after piling up 11 points (5G, 6A) in his last eight games for the Americans.
Most Sabres fans will know that Bailey is from Buffalo (technically, Williamsville), the son of former Bills linebacker Carlton Bailey. (To learn more, click on this Buffalo News story from July.)
The Sabres play Thursday in Philadelphia, where Bailey will reportedly make his NHL debut.
To make room for Bailey on Buffalo’s roster, Zemgus Girgensons (lower body) was placed on injured reserve.
Thing have gone from bad to weird in Minnesota, where embattled Wild coach Mike Yeo was “disappointed” to see Zenon Konopka’s rabbit holding a sign that read, “YEO MUST GO.”
Hey, we told you things had gotten weird.
Konopka, a former Wild player, took to Twitter last night after Minnesota’s latest loss.
Here’s what Konopka tweeted:
And what did Yeo think about that?
“I really don’t care what he says,” he told the Star Tribune, apparently adding with a laugh, “I will say I was very disappointed to see Hoppy holding that sign.”
Now, according to the newspaper’s Michael Russo, “Konopka and Yeo had a lot of issues behind the scenes and that’s why [Konopka] ended up on waivers two Januarys ago.”
Still, that doesn’t change the fact that a lot of Wild fans agree with Hoppy, er, Konopka, and it doesn’t change the fact that the Wild could really, really use a win tomorrow at home to Washington.
Nice work from Artem Anisimov and Matt Niskanen this week, but Connor McDavid‘s tally is on a different level.
You can pretty much bank on McDavid being in Goals of the Year, too. Just saying.
Laurent Brossoit is getting another crack at the NHL.
On Wednesday, the Oilers announced they demoted Anders Nilsson — who, earlier this year, was carrying the starting gig in Edmonton — and recalled Brossoit from AHL Bakersfield.
Brossoit, 22, is an interesting story. Taken in the sixth round of the 2011 draft (164th overall), he’s really made strides over the last year. He made his big-league debut at the end of last season and performed extremely well, making 49 saves on 51 shots in a loss to San Jose.
This year, Brossoit was named an AHL All-Star. He’s posted a 14-8-3 record for the Condors thus far, with a 2.70 GAA and .921 save percentage.
As for Nilsson, his demotion comes after losing the starting gig to Cam Talbot. Nilsson has also struggled to find the good form shown in November, when he made 10 starts and posted a .915 save percentage.
In his last outing, the lanky Swede allowed three goals on 10 shots in an embarrassing 8-1 loss to the Isles.