Dennis Wideman scored last night’s winning goal and was one of four defensemen logging big-time minutes amid injuries to Dennis Seidenberg, Mark Stuart, and Andrew Ference.
For all that, Wideman was booed by pockets of the TD Garden crowd whenever the puck was on his stick.
“Tim Thomas has been booed, too,” said general manager Peter Chiarelli. “These guys are world-class players. They’re not having years as good as expected, for whatever reason. But I don’t like when guys are singled out. Tim’s won a Vezina. He was on the Olympic team. Wides was a candidate for the Canadian Olympic team. He had a hell of a year last year. It’s everybody’s fault we’re not playing to expectations. But it pains me when they get booed.”
Chiarelli, who’s drawn his share of criticism (mostly for not upgrading the offense at the trade deadline), said he respects ticket holders’ right to make their feelings known. He just doesn’t like it.
“I recognize and respect the fans’ ability to have their opinions,” Chiarelli said. “Their opinions have been strong. I respect that. They’ve been strong against me and my moves, toward Claude [Julien], and the players. I respect that. But I don’t think it’s fair to single out a player like that, especially considering how he’s been playing.”