Dennis Wideman isn’t letting his 31 shifts per game go to waste.

The Calgary Flames blueliner has already amassed 17 shots on goal and trails only Lee Stempniak’s 21 for the team lead in just five games.

“My job is to try and get as many pucks to the net as possible” Wideman said following Tuesday’s practice at the Saddledome. “Our forwards are always doing a really good job of getting to the cage and getting in front. Any time I can get the puck in there and hopefully get a tip or a rebound it’s a good thing. If I can find a lane I’m going to shoot it.”

The Kitchener Ont. native blasted home his first goal of the NHL season against the New Jersey Devils last Friday on a second-period powerplay bullet from the top of the circle that tied the contest the Flames would eventually win 3-2.

“It was a big goal” Wideman said. “Our powerplay was kind of scrambling kind of struggling. We weren’t playing well five-on-five. Those are the games you need your powerplay to step up.”

Following a blazing pre-season in which he logged four goals and two helpers in four games Wideman was left off the scoresheet in the first three games of the regular season but he now has three points in the last two contests.

The Flames will rely heavily on their US$5-million man to continue contributing especially considering Wideman’s 27:46 average time on ice per game leads the Flames.