In his most recent weekly column for SI.com, NHL writer Allan Muir handed out his midseason awards. Among those recognized by Muir, Boston Bruins defenseman Dennis Wideman, who the writer named his Norris Trophy winner as the best defenseman in the NHL.
Muir makes the argument that Wideman has been the best “all-around defender on the league’s best defensive team since Day One” — even better than Zdeno Chara.
MK: While I agree that Wideman has enjoyed a superb first half, I cannot overlook the fact that Chara continues to get the Grade A assignments — against the likes of Alexander Ovechkin, Ilya Kovalchuk and Thomas Vanek — and continues to make sure those guys don’t erupt against the Bruins. And Chara still produces at the same clip offensively. But if Wideman duplicates his first-half performance in the second half, he should be in the conversation for the Norris, even if there’s really no shot of him making the final three (the media will hypnotically vote in Nicklas Lidstrom and Dion Phaneuf, leaving just one spot open).