Thoughts on Goalie Interference

The “crease rule” does not exist.

It’s something that often gets forgotten in oversimplification of goalie interference calls. Shortly after Brett Hull beat Dominik Hasek to give the Dallas Stars the 1999 Stanley Cup Championship, the NHL eliminated the rule that said any time a skater was in his opponent’s crease, any goals scored would be called back (unless they were Cup-winning goals, it seemed).

Thus, when I see people reviewing Pavel Datsyuk‘s waved off goal from last night and saying, “Yeah, Abdelkader’s skate was in the crease.” cringe a little.

Okay, a lot.

Abdelkader could have been tap-dancing on the goal line and if there was no contact between he and Montreal goalie Carey Price, any puck that ends up in the net should have counted.

Rule 69.1, Interference of the Goaltender, is now entirely based on contact. Incidental, non-incidental, or lack of contact.

No contact and it’s a good goal. Non-incidental contact (the attacking player did it on purpose) and there’s a penalty in additon to the goal coming back. Incidental contact gets no penalty but the goal doesn’t count either.

Incidental contact is described as follows:

an attacking player, either by his positioning or by contact, impairs the goalkeeper’s ability to move freely within his crease or defend his goal

It’s further explained as

The overriding rationale of this rule is that a goalkeeper should have the ability to move freely within his goal crease without being hindered by the actions of an attacking player. If an attacking player enters the goal crease and, by his actions, impairs the goalkeeper’s ability to defend his goal, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed.

The problem is that there are two sometimes-competing scenarios here.

The goalie should be allowed to defend his goal. That’s the one we hear a lot, where an attacking player prevented the goalie from making a save.

An entirely different concept is that the goalie should be allowed to move freely within his crease.

I submit a series of scenarios: A goalie, call him Carey Price, is coming out to face a shooter, call him Pavel Datsyuk, wide open in the faceoff circle to his right. At the opposite post, another attacker, call him Justin Abdelkader, is perched in the crease, tap-dancing.

In Scenario 1, Datsyuk’s shot is easily stopped. No interference penalty, no goal.

In Scenario B, Datsyuk rips a shot over Price’s shoulder to the near corner. No contact between Price and Abdelkader, the goal counts.

In Scenario III, Datsyuk rips a shot into the near top corner. Price, inexplicably, dives across the crease and crashes into Abdelkader. Abdelkader has impeded Price’s ability to move about his crease, even though there’s no reason for Price to have gone there in the first place. The goal comes back.

Last night, Price inexplicably moved to his right, where Abdelkader was, causing the incidental contact while Datsyuk’s shot flew past him to his left. If the “overriding rationale” of the rule is to allow the goalie to move wherever he wants in his crease for whatever reason, I concede that he right call was made. If it’s to stop a player from impairing the goalie’s ability to defend his goal, that was the wrong call.

Postgame: Red Wings @ Canadiens – 10/21

There’s a decent amount of buzz that the Wings didn’t play well enough tonight to overcome and, thus, they didn’t deserve to win. That they can’t win without the power play clicking and since it’s not clicking yet, the loss is their fault.

I want to see the power play clicking. I want to see the Wings dominate and keep the foot on the gas and not let the Canadiens back in this one. The fact of the matter, though, is that you don’t have to do those things to win a game. You just have to score more goals.

Detroit scored two goals in regulation on Tuesday. Montreal scored one. That’s good enough to win, except for the fact that a ref bit on Carey Price‘s act that he was interfered with and all of the sudden two goals became one.

While you should go into a game planning on playing as well as you can and scoring as many goals as you can, you shouldn’t have to go in planning on having goals wiped out.

That was a good goal. They made the wrong call. 2-1.

Pregame: Red Wings @ Canadiens – 10/21

The Red Wings continue their string of games against Original Six opponents tonight, visiting the Montreal Canadiens.

Detroit is coming off a shootout loss to the Boston Bruins and then a sweep of the Toronto Maple Leafs in a home-and-home series. At 3-1-1 on the season, they sit three points back of the Canadiens (5-1-0) in the Atlantic.

The big news for the Wings is that forward Pavel Datsyuk will return from a shoulder injury and make his first appearance of the season. He replaces Stephen Weiss in the lineup, who had replaced the injured Johan Franzen for one game. Franzen is now on injured reserve, making room for Datsyuk to come off IR.

Datsyuk will skate on a line with Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader, with Gustav Nyquist bounced down to the second line with Riley Sheahan and Tomas Tatar. Tomas Jurco drops to the third line with Darren Helm and Andrej Nestrasil.

Jimmy Howard will get the start in goal after a short stint on IR with a minor groin injury.

Carey Price will get the start for Montreal.

Stupid stat of the day: Detroit has never scored a goal against the Canadiens on October 21. Their only previous meeting was a 2-0 Montreal win in 1950, which was also Detroit’s first game on the date.

Game time is 7:30 on FSD.

Zetterberg Lifts Red Wings over Maple Leafs in Overtime

Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg scored with just ten seconds remaining in overtime on Saturday night, lifting Detroit to a 1-0 win over the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs.

Detroit goalie Jonas Gustavsson made thirty saves in shutting out his former club in his first appearance of the season.

After nearly 65 minutes of scoreless hockey, Niklas Kronwall carried the puck up the left wing boards and fed Zetterberg all along in the slot for a shot that went off Toronto goalie Jonathan Bernier‘s stick, off the post, and into the back of the net.

Bernier finished the night with 31 saves on 32 shots against.

With the win, the Red Wings sweep their home-and-home series against the Maple Leafs. They’re next in action on Tuesday when they visit the Montreal Canadiens.

Detroit remained without center Pavel Datsyuk… Forward Johan Franzen missed the game with leg spasms, replaced in the lineup by Stephen WeissPetr Mrazek was called up to backup Gustavsson, with Jimmy Howard resting a groin injury… Daniel Cleary was a healthy scratch.

Pregame: Maple Leafs @ Red Wings – 10/18

One night after the Red Wings’ 4-1 win in Toronto, the Maple Leafs visit the Red Wings for the second half of a home-and-home.

Jonas Gustavsson gets the start in goal for Detroit against his former team, his first start of the season. He’ll be backed up by Petr Mrazek, recalled from the Grand Rapids Griffins today as Jimmy Howard is on 48-hour goalie IR with a groin injury.

The Red Wings could have one other lineup change, as Johan Franzen will be a game-time decision. He left last night’s match with leg spasms and might not be able to go tonight. Based on practices earlier this week, Stephen Weiss would likely get the nod if Franzen can’t go.

The Maple Leafs will start Jonathan Bernier in goal.

Stupid stat of the day: The Red Wings are 7-7-2 all-time against Toronto at home in the second game of a home-and-home on back-to-back nights.

Game time is 7:00 PM on FSD.

Franzen Scores Two, Leaves Game, as Red Wings Down Leafs

Detroit’s Johan Franzen scores two goals on Friday night before leaving the game with leg spasms, and his teammates added two more as the Red Wings rolled to a 4-1 win over the host Toronto Maple Leafs.

Henrik Zetterberg assisted on all four goals, rebounding from a bad game against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday.

Franzen opened the game’s scoring at the midway point of the first period. Zetterberg forced a turnover behind the Toronto net by defenseman Roman Polak, then carried the puck into the right wing corner, where he spun and sent a pass to Franzen at the edge of the crease to bat past goalie James Reimer.

At 5:42 of the second period, Zetterberg corralled the puck after it flipped through the air and cut from the left faceoff circle to the net. He couldn’t get a shot off, but he dropped a no-look pass to Franzen who lifted a shot over the sprawling Reimer.

Franzen crashed heavily into the boards on the play. He would continue for several more shifts before leaving the game with roughly four minutes remaining in the period

Gustav Nyquist made it 3-0 with his fourth goal in as many games. Zetterberg again collected a loose puck in the left circle and looped through it, waiting for a streaking Nyquist to get into the slot and take a pass, kicking it from his skate to his stick and firing a shot past Reimer with 1:44 remaining.

Toronto’s Mike Santorelli made it 3-1 just 21 seconds into the third period. On a three-on-two break, Santorelli drove to the net to take a pass from Leo Komarov and flick a shot past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard.

The Red Wings restored their lead at 5:51 of the period, when Nyquist threaded a pass from the bottom of the right circle to Justin Abdelkader at the top of the crease for a tip past Reimer.

Reimer finished the night with 31 saves on 35 shots against while Howard stopped 23 of 24 chances.

Neither team scored a power play goal on the night. The Red Wings had five chances with the extra attacker to the Maple Leafs’ two.

The two teams will meet again on Saturday night in Detroit.

Pregame: Red Wings @ Maple Leafs – 10/17

It’s the first game of a home-and-home tonight as the Red Wings visit the Toronto Maple Leafs. It’s also Detroit’s first road game of the season after going 1-1-1 at home to start the campaign.

Stupid stat of the day: The Red Wings are 29-44-15 all-time in their first road game of the season.

The Red Wings will roll the same lineup as they’ve used in the first three games, including Justin Abdelkader on the third line. Abdelkader skipped practice on Thursday, replaced by Stephen Weiss, but was good to go for the Friday morning skate.

Game time is 7:30 PM on FSD.

Red Wings Sign Prospect Bertuzzi

The Detroit Red Wings announced on Friday the signing of prospect forward Tyler Bertuzzi to a three-year entry-level contract.

As per club policy, financial terms were not announced.

Bertuzzi was drafted by the Red Wings in the second round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, 58th overall. In an injury-shortened 2013-14 campaign with the OHL’s Guelph Storm, Bertuzzi scored nine goals and added 25 assists in 29 games. He added five goals in Guelph’s four-game Memorial Cup run, which saw them lose in the final to the Edmonton Oil Kings.

The 19-year-old is the nephew of former Red Wing Todd Bertuzzi.

Postgame: Bruins 3, Red Wings 2 (SO)

The word out of the Red Wings dressing room after their 3-2 shootout loss to the Boston Bruins on Wednesday was that goalie Jimmy Howard stole the team a point, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who would disagree.

As a whole, Detroit’s skaters spent much of the game on their heels, with Howard bailing them out. Howard especially came up huge in the final minutes of regulation, with several key stops to force overtime and get Detroit a point in the standings.

Of course, Howard looked relatively awful in the shootout, but considering he’s the reason the team got there it’s hard to fault him for the failure in the tiebreaker.

Speaking of the gimmick… Is Andrej Nestrasil an AHL shootout specialist and I just don’t know it? I get that with the team down Pavel Datsyuk and Todd Bertuzzi and Daniel Alfredsson they’re missing a lot of their shootout regulars, but I’ve got six guys (Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, Tomas Jurco, Johan Franzen, Riley Sheahan, Henrik Zetterberg) that I go with before Nestrasil. First coaching decision I’ve questioned this season.

So far we’ve seen two games the Wings played well enough to win and one they deserved to lose, and they’ve got a 1-1-1 record. Not bad, not great. We’re not going to see the team get blown up for this loss, nor should we. Even if the Jeff Petry rumors are intriguing.

Pregame: Bruins @ Red Wings – 10/15

For the second time in the first three games of the season, the Boston Bruins are back at Joe Louis Arena for a matchup with the Red Wings.

Detroit is coming off a controversial loss to the Anaheim Ducks last Saturday, with Ryan Getzlaf having scored the game winning goal in the closing seconds after hooking Niklas Kronwall to steal the puck from him.

The Bruins are a disappointing 1-3, having lost their last three games after opening the season with a win. They’ll get center David Krejci back from injury tonight, though.

The Red Wings are still without Pavel Datsyuk and will skate with the same lineup they used in their first two games. The big change is that Gustav Nyquist and Justin Abdelkader will start the game having swapped spots, a move head coach Mike Babcock has made in-game in the first two games. Nyquist will skate with Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen while Abdelkader joins Darren Helm and Andrej Nestrasil.

Jimmy Howard gets the start in net for Detroit while Boston will go with Tuukka Rask.

Stupid stat of the day: The Red Wings haven’t beaten an Original Six opponent on October 15 since a 5-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1988.

Game time is 8:00 PM on NBCSN.