Edmonton, Alberta --
|Boston Bruins center David Krejci (46), from Czech Republic, left, celebrates Bruins' Dennis Wideman's (6) goal as Edmonton Oilers right wing Fernando Pisani (34) skates by during the overtime period of NHL hockey action in Edmonton, Alberta on Monday, Oct. 27, 2008. Boston beat Edmonton 1-0 in overtime. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jimmy Jeong) |
Cue the tumbleweeds and the Ennio Morricone music.
For most of last year, off and on the ice, Dennis Wideman had the look of a movie cowboy; a gunslinger who had never missed his mark in the Old West. Minus the tall black hat, jangling spurs and shiny pair of six shooters, the young Bruins defenseman displayed a demeanor that said to everyone around him, “I want the puck when the chips are down.”
Last night, on the first stop of a western Canadian road swing, that confident swagger was back after Wideman, who signed a lucrative contract to stay with the Bruins over the summer, hit his target over the left shoulder of Edmonton Oilers goalie Dwayne Roloson and gave the Black & Gold a stirring 1-0 overtime win.
“Tonight’s goal started when they took Zdeno Chara
away (from the attack),” said Wideman, with a bit of shoe-gazing "aw shucks" self-deprecation. “They basically made it so I couldn’t give him the puck.
“So I had to shoot.”
The Old West deadeye shot analogy stops there. Thankfully, however, the kind of confidence it takes to stare down your opponent, no matter what, remains.
“The first three times I missed the net,” admitted Wideman. “So I said to myself, ‘Man, I’ve got to take a little break here.’
“So I got it down to Marc Savard
and hoped that he would make something happen.”
Savard did make something happen when he passed the puck right back to Wideman.
“I threw it at the net,” said the blueliner.
No matter how the goal was scored, Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien was pleased with his entire team and felt like his squad had earned the win.
“It was a good game all around,” said the B’s bench boss. “Our whole team played a good road game, and we were able to use all four lines.
“We had a lot of guys step up and play well.”
Obviously, Wideman was included in that equation.
“I think it’s important that our D does participate in the offensive part of our game,” said Coach Julien. “And we’ve got some guys back there who can shoot the puck.
“(Wideman) had a couple of opportunities where he missed the net, but he made that one count – that made the difference, and that’s all you can ask."
In the end, it was confidence that saved the day for Boston.
“I shot the puck three times and missed the net,” repeated Wideman. “The first time that I actually couldn’t see what I was doing, I hit the net.
“So, I don’t know – figure that one out.
“Maybe I should just close my eyes and throw it at the net all the time,” he asked.
The answer: “A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.”