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


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.

Video: Habs continue winning ways with OT victory over Red Wings


The Montreal Canadiens, at least to begin the season, just keep on winning.

They’re up to six victories and an NHL-best 12 points — it’s early, we know — thanks to a 2-1 overtime win against the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday. David Desharnais scored his first of the season with the OT winner. The goal came after a hectic sequence and a scramble in front of Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard that led to Desharnais chipping the loose puck into the net.

The Red Wings had a chance to go up two goals just past the midway point of the third period. Pavel Datsyuk, making his return to the Red Wings lineup, buried a beautiful spinning backhand by Carey Price, but the goal was waved off.

Detroit’s Justin Abdelkader bumped Price just as Datsyuk was letting go of his shot.

Disappointing as that was for Detroit, it was also a reminder of the skill Datsyuk possesses.

And with that, the Canadiens suddenly had an opportunity to get back on even terms.

Perhaps troubling, however, for the Canadiens is they have conceded the first goal in six of seven games. The Comeback Kids, apparently. They’re also an NHL-best 5-1-0 when allowing the first goal. But will this trend eventually catch up with them?

Weiss (healthy scratch) still waiting for chance to get back in Wings’ lineup


Stephen Weiss will be a healthy scratch again tonight when his Red Wings host the Boston Bruins. The 31-year-old center — currently in the second year of a five-year, $24.5 million contract — insists his health issues are behind him. All he’s focusing on now is working hard in practice so he can be ready to make his regular-season debut once an opportunity presents itself.

“It’s coming,” Weiss said, per MLive. “It’s just a matter of getting a chance now and hopefully getting a bounce here or there in a game to get on the board and things start to snowball in your direction and away you go.”

Weiss added that coach Mike Babcock has told him to “just stick with it and when you get your chance you’ll be ready to go.”

The Wings signed Weiss in the summer of 2013 with the expectation that he could center their second line, thus allowing Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg to play together on the top line.

Detroit hockey fans don’t need to be told how that plan has worked out.

(Hint: not well.)

Wings’ Datsyuk making progress

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Pavel Datsyuk will miss his second game of the season tonight when the Anaheim Ducks visit Joe Louis Arena.

Datsyuk, who has been out since Sept. 22, tells that he’s feeling better.

“I don’t know; still skating, working hard,” Datsyuk said following morning skate. “Every day is much better, but I’m not ready to go. I hope I’ll be in good shape for like skating and I keep pace with team and nice to be together with team.”

The 36-year-old is expected to miss four weeks with the injury and still has to be cleared for contact.

Anaheim will have rookie William Karlsson make his NHL debut tonight according to Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register.

The Ducks’ second round selection at the 2011 NHL Draft centered a line of Andrew Cogliano and Jakob Silfverberg at the team’s morning skate.

Rickard Rackell and Mark Fistric are healthy scratches on the blue line for the Ducks while Bryan Allen continues to recover from a lower body injury.

Malkin ’99 percent’ in; Datsyuk definitely out


A couple of key injury updates to pass along:

First, Evgeni Malkin has been upgraded from “50-50” to play in the Penguins’ opener tomorrow versus Anaheim. His new chances are very good — “99 percent,” according to coach Mike Johnston.

Malkin, normally a center, is expected to play right wing on a line with Brandon Sutter in the middle and Pascal Dupuis on the left side.

Meanwhile, in Detroit, the Red Wings will be without Pavel Datsyuk (shoulder) tomorrow for their opener versus Boston. Andrej Nestrasil is set to take Datsyuk’s spot in the lineup. For Nestrasil, it would be his first NHL game.

Related: Ouellet, Mrazek sent to AHL; Nestrasil stays with Wings