The Washington Capitals' first splash of the NHL trade deadline was one that no one saw coming. The Dennis Wideman trade, which brought the defenseman to Washington from the Florida Panthers in exchange for prospect Jake Hauswirth and a 2011 third-round pick, gives the Caps another puck-moving defenseman that will help them find their missing power play.
Last season, the Capitals had the NHL's best power play at 25.2 percent. This season, it's closer to the bottom at 16.3 percent, 25th in the league. Florida's power play is actually worse than Washington's at 13.7 percent (29th). Yet, Wideman accounted for over 25 percent of the Panthers' goals with the man advantage, scoring eight of their 29 total power play goals. Wideman's eight PP goals and 33 total points now lead all Caps defenseman.
With Mike Green suffering from numerous injuries, the Caps lack their power play quarterback, the player responsible for getting the puck into the zone and anchoring the power play. Wideman can do that. Don't expect him to provide solid defense (minus-26 on the season), but the dormant power play has now received the energy boost it sorely needs.