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Dennis for the Defense

by Angela Stefano / Boston Bruins
Dennis Wideman (6). (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Boston, MA -- The Boston Bruins proved they have faith in defenseman Dennis Wideman when they re-signed him to a lucrative multiyear contract this summer.  Wideman, however, knows that he still has to let the team know they made the right choice.

“I put a lot of pressure on myself.  I expect a lot when I play, and I’m not happy when I don’t play well,” Wideman said after his on-ice session at the TD Banknorth Garden this morning.  “Definitely with the contract comes a lot more pressure from other places, but I feel I’m ready for that, and hopefully I can get better.”

That’s a good thing to hear coming from a Bruin who should see a lot of ice time this season, especially because head coach Claude Julien is operating under a “defense plays offense” mentality.

“We’re trying to get involved as much as possible, but you have to take care of yourself and stay in your zone,” Wideman said of the double-duty for the B’s blueliners.  “Hopefully we can get that going and create a lot more offense and score some goals.”

Clearly the defense is going to be a big part of any Bruins success this season.

“You can score six goals, but if you give up seven, you’re still losing the hockey game,” Wideman said.  “We’re always trying to get better.

“We did a good job with that last year and we can still get better at it.”

Of course, it helps that much of last year’s team is still intact, meaning there should be a shorter adjustment period, and the Black & Gold can build off the momentum and success of last year.

Still, losing Glen Murray and Glen Metropolit left some leadership holes in the locker room.

“We have a lot of older guys here, guys that have been here a long time,” said Wideman when asked if he’d step into one of those holes.  “I’m still learning the game, and I have a long way to go.  I’m still watching the guys that have been here for six, eight, 10, 12 years.”

But with his strong work ethic and ability to push himself, Wideman’s got the basics down.

“Our emphasis has always been being hard to play against every night,” he said.  “There are going to be a lot of nights that don’t feel good, but one thing you can always control is how hard you work, and that’s basically what I’ve picked up on.”
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