It was a whirlwind day for the Washington Capitals as they made several moves to upgrade a shockingly ineffective offense. First they brought in Dennis Wideman to provide an extra presence at the point on the power play. Then, they made the much anticipated deal to acquire Jason Arnott to anchor the second line.
While a lack of depth up the middle was the primary concern for the Capitals, the addition of Wideman might be just as vital to the team's Stanley Cup hopes. Washington's power play is ranked 25th in the league just a year removed from being the top unit in hockey. Wideman's eight markers with the man advantage make him the leading power play goal scorer on a team with just 35 PPGs on the season.
“I think the power play has been struggling a little bit of late [but] it won’t last long with the amount of guys they have out there," the 27-year-old defenseman said in a conference call on Monday. "They got a lot of depth there and we’ll be fine on the power play.”
If the power play can rediscover their touch from last year, Brooks Laich believes thing will fall into place across the board.
"The power play is usually the catalyst to our offense overall," Laich said earlier this month. "We score on the power play, generally we score more five on five so it gives the team a boost, puts the other team down a little bit and obviously makes a change on the scoreboard. Last year the power play for us was a lethal weapon, and we have to get it back to that point."
Wideman will certainly help regenerate the power play and he was thrilled he won't have to worry about defending against Alex Ovechkin anymore when the Caps go to work with the extra skater.
"Now [I'm] going to be trying to get him the puck,” he laughed.
Despite the Caps reversion to a more defensive mindset, Wideman is still excited about playing with explosive players like Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom.
“Those [up-tempo teams] are the teams that control the play a lot. They have the puck a lot and that’s the type of hockey that I enjoy playing,” he said. “I’m just going to try to get in there and help out wherever I can, carry the puck up the ice and then obviously get the puck as soon as I can to guys like Backstrom and Ovechkin."