Eleven minutes into Thursday night’s game versus Buffalo, Dennis Wideman’s season went from bad to worse. With an entire fan base already on the guy’s back, Wideman made a crucial mistake that led to a Derek Roy goal and a 1-0 Buffalo lead. It was painful to watch. It was really of those times when your life suddenly doesn’t seem so bad because you think of how much it must suck to be in that person’s shoes (or skates).
While most would be content to mail it in, hit the showers and maybe even shed a tear or two though, Wideman responded by scoring perhaps the Bruins most important goal of the season in the third period to give them a 2-1 lead.
Mark Recchi would later tip one home to add some insurance, and the Bruins walked away with a crucial 3-1 victory.
Wideman’s goal may not have been the prettiest; far from it in fact. But it was, in my opinion, much more gratifying to watch than Satan’s beautiful backhander or Recchi doing what he does best. For a moment at the Garden, it suddenly didn’t suck so bad to be Dennis Wideman after all. In fact, you all of a sudden wanted to be in the guy’s shoes (or skates).
Now I love Dennis Wideman, but even I can’t explain or support the season he’s had. He has seen his point total nearly slashed in two (down to 28 after 50 points a year ago), and his minus-15 is a far cry from his plus-32 of last season. But at the end of the day, if he can score big goals like he did on Thursday, it becomes a little easier for me to explain why I like the guy.
As far as last night goes for the Bruins as a whole, the win was massive. They are now tied with Montreal at 87 points, and have a game in hand. More importantly, they are now up by three points on the New York Rangers with the same amount of games played. If the playoffs were to start today, the Bruins would be facing the same Buffalo Sabres team that they faced on Thursday, with one major adjustment of course: Ryan Miller in net.
The Bruins would need to make some adjustments of their own though if they would expect to replicate Thursday’s end result. The Bruins turned in another lackluster performance on the power play, going 0 for 6 with the man advantage. You’ve got to be opportunistic come playoff time and the Bruins have hardly been that, especially since Savard went down last month.
While the Bruins are idle on Friday night, there is still plenty to watch for Bruins fans. As you sit at home and prepare for the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday afternoon, why not crack one open and do a little scoreboard watching? After all, if the Rangers lose in regulation to the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday, the Bruins can finally punch their ticket to the big dance, rather than lingering around outside in the parking lot like they have been.