Babcock: ‘Price definitely initiates contact’ in disallowed Datsyuk goal

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Pavel Datsyuk scored a remarkable goal in his return to the Detroit Red Wings’ lineup last night. It was disallowed though on the grounds of goalie interference, which proved to be critical as Montreal went on to win 2-1 in overtime.

Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader was the one that was ruled to have interfered with Canadiens goaltender Carey Price. You can see that below:

“I saw Abby go to the net. I thought it was a heck of a play,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock noted, per the team’s website. “Abby ends up with his foot in the paint but (Montreal goalie Carey) Price definitely initiates contact. He’s trying to follow Datsyuk. What are you going to do? You’re supposed to allow the goalie to play. He initiated the contact himself but he still initiated the contact.”

Given that Price initiated contact, that play might not sit well with some Red Wings fans, but by having his skate in the crease Abdelkader left himself open to a potential goaltender interference call. As rule 69.3 states:

If a goalkeeper, in the act of establishing his position within his goal crease, initiates contact with an attacking player who is in the goal crease, and this results in an impairment of the goalkeeper’s ability to defend his goal, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed.

In other words, Price is within his rights to make contact Abdelkader once he entered the crease and still have it count as goalie interference.

And so this might go down as the nicest goal of the season that never was.