Chris Wideman Among NHL Best Since March

Chris Wideman Among NHL Best Since March

Last night the Montreal Canadiens deligthed their fans free chicken wings at La Cage Aux Sports as they partook in a festival of goals against the New Jersey Devils and once again, Chris Wideman was there for his silent share of the victory.

Final

Montreal Canadiens

7

New Jersey Devils

4

Oddly enough the Canadiens were blubbering and falling all over the place. They were completely dominated in the second period and even outshot 37-26 in the game.

In the end, it doesn’t even matter a poor outing from former Canadiens Andrew Hammond on the New Jersey side of the rink opened things up offensively for the Habs.

Christian Dvorak, Kale Clague and Chris Wideman all had three point nights.

Nick Suzuki (19th), Jake Evans (10th) and none other than Cole Caufield (17th) scored in the first period while former Hab Tomas “Tuna” Tatar (14th) made it 3-1 Canadiens after 20 minutes.

Look at this amazing breakout from the Canadiens that led to Suzuki’s goal…

Absolute An absolute cannon by Jake Evans…

… And of course, your nightly Cole Caufield highlight.

I have a feeling that Pierre Houde will be screaming “ET LE BUT!” many times with Cole Caufield. The fans think so as well, as they responded to our Twitter poll during the game.

In the second period the Devils were all over the place and AJ Greer scored his first of the year reducing the gap to 3-2. With the Canadiens incapable of controlling the puck and becoming a turnover machine, Jake Allen was there to save the day. Then Joel Armia decided to take things in his own hand, 1:20 after Greer’s goal, and brought the game to 4-2 on a play that left Pavel Zacha tripping over his laces.

If you were late in the third period, you missed a lot. Three goals were scored in 1:53 to open the final frame as Chris Wideman, who thinks he’s Bobby Orr for the last few month or so, scored his 4th of the year. Christian Dvorak (10th) then scored 15 seconds later on a breakaway to make it 6-2. Then 27 seconds later Ty Smith makes it 6-3 Canadiens.

Jesper Bratt would attempt to bring some life to the Devils by notching his 23rd of the year but then Kale Clague would break any hope of a comeback by scoring on a shot that had eyes for his 2nd of the season and lead the Canadiens to a 7 -4 victory.

Chris Wideman Among Top Defenceman Of NHL

On the topic of Chris Wideman as mentioned earlier, he has been an offensive force in the last month, ranking himself in elite company amongt point leaders for defencemen.

Since March 13th, Wideman joins Roman Josi, Morgan Rielly and Charlie McCavoy as the only defencemen in the NHL to score at a point per game pace. Granted it’s a small window, but once again at the risk of repeating myself, the Martin St. Louis effect is being felt with Wideman as well. No he’s nowhere near his counterparts for the season. Roman Josi is having a ridiculous season with 87 points so far, while Rielly has 61 and McCavoy 50.

That being said, no one expected Wideman to score a career high 25 points this season and suddenly become not only an important piece of the Canadiens’ puzzle on the back end, but a beloved teammate and leader as well.

It’s sort of a redemption story for Wideman. In the 2018-19 season, Wideman was traded three times. First from the Ottawa Senators, the team that drafted him in the 4th round in 2009, to the Edmonton Oilers for a 6th round pick. Then a little over a month later, he’s traded again this time from Edmonton to the Florida Panthers along with a 3rd round pick for Alex Petrovic. Then less than two months later he would be traded from Florida to the Pittsburgh Penguins for current Laval Rocket forward Jean-Sebastien Dea.

Furthermore, he’d ride the bus in the AHL for both the Springfield Thunderbirds and the Wilkes-Barrie / Scranton Penguins.

SUNRISE, FL – MARCH 29: Teammates congratulate Chris Wideman # 20 of the Montreal Canadiens on scorimg a first-period goal against the Florida Panthers at the FLA Live Arena on March 29, 2022 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach / Getty Images)

The following season he would sign a contract with the Anaheim Ducks and spend the season with their AHL affiliate the San Diego Gulls. After a great season in which he would amass 31 points in 53 games, Wideman would receive no call from an NHL team and decided to bolt for the KHL.

The rest of the story is well documented as he would win the defenceman of the year award with 41 points in 59 games with the Nizhny Novgorod Torpedo. In the offseason he would sign with the Canadiens and if he keeps this up for the rest of the year, there’s a good chance he will get rewarded with a new contract.

The 32 year old was giving fans ulcers at the beginning of the season with his deer in the headlight plays in the home zone. However, he really picked things up and looks a lot more comfortable and consistently doing the little things, which always seem to have more of an impact than highlight reel plays. Wideman just fights shift after shift in order to prov himself worthy of ice time.

Talk about perseverance.

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