On Thursday night during a Devils’ 5-2 loss at the Canadiens, an incident took place with 18 seconds left in the first period between Kyle Palmieri and Carey Price. With the game tied following Adam Henrique’s goal in which he crashed into Price once the puck was going in, the Montreal number one goalie had had enough.
Late in the period, Palmieri made a nice move around Montreal defenseman Jeff Petry to get in on Price. He was stopped by Price, who didn’t take kindly to getting bumped into by the Devils forward. On the play in question, Petry gave Palmieri a shove from behind which left him no choice. He was going to run into Price.
A furious Price let loose pummeling Palmieri with a series of rights with his blocker against a defenseless player. Ben Lovejoy finally came in and things cooled down. It definitely was a reaction to Henrique’s goal. The refs allowed two controversial goals in the first which could’ve been reversed on challenges for interference.
On one side, you had Price, who was tired of being run. Something that stems back to Chris Kreider knocking him out of the 2014 Eastern Conference Final when he was pushed from behind. As the Montreal netminder stated in the post game, he was just standing up for himself.
The end result was Palmieri receiving a goalie interference minor penalty while Price got the extra two for a roughing double minor. To be honest, I don’t think Palmieri merited a penalty. There was nothing he could do to avoid contact. On the Devil side, some pondered if Price should’ve been ejected. But as opposing netminder Cory Schneider said, he’s a goalie and they can get away with that. If it were a skater, they may have been given a game misconduct.
So, what to make of all this. Not too much. We’ve seen goalies do similar when they felt they were being run. In this one, chalk it up to Price going Patrick Roy. Palmieri isn’t a dirty player. It was just an unfortunate play which resulted in him not being able to defend himself. He caught the brunt of Price’s anger.
Is it good for hockey? Sure. I like it when goalies respond to such stuff. Even if Price went overboard, he sent a message. I kind of wish Henrik Lundqvist would do similar. But it’s not in his nature. Fiery goalies who don’t take crap are fun. Even Martin Brodeur showed his other side when he got into it with Sean Avery. Other examples are Billy Smith, Ron Hextall, Ed Belfour, Felix Potvin and even Dominik Hasek. Ryan Miller is probably as tough as they come in today’s game.
It definitely adds some spice to the game. As for the next match-up, the Canadiens don’t see the Devils again until January 20 in the new calendar year at The Rock. Circle the date.