Originally posted on Bloguin Best  |  Last updated 2/6/13
By now, if you're a fan of hockey in the slightest, you've noticed a glaring initiative by officials to protect the game's players. Concussion awareness and player safety have been hot-button issues for years ever since devastating injuries to Marc Savard and Sidney Crosby. But as hard as the league has been coming down on players for hitting players in defenseless positions, or targeting the head, it would seem as though the officials have even more at stake. Or at least that's how they're calling games. The quick-triggered referees are having as big an impact on the outcome of games as ever in an attempt to erase these hits from our game. Match penalties are being given out with alarming frequency, and in some cases are even being rescinded later that evening. Andrew Desjardins' hit on Jamal Mayers in last night's Blackhawks-Sharks game is a fine example of this. Following a scrap that ensued with Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith, Desjardins was given a match penalty for this: Desjardins hit a player with the puck, did not target the head and did not leave his feet but was given a five-minute match penalty for a hit to the head. During the four-on-four play that followed, Patrick Kane scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal. After the game, the league removed the match penalty to Desjardins. If Desjardins was not given a match penalty, the Sharks would've had a power play due to Keith's instigator penalty. That call came just five days after David Backes took a five-minute major in the third period of a tie game for a textbook hit to the chest of Detroit defenseman Kent Huskins: Yeah, five minutes for that. Backes clearly targets the chest and knocks the wind out of Huskins, but also received a five-minute match penalty for targeting the head. Detroit scored on the power play, breaking a 3-3 tie, and won the game. At what point is the safety of players taking away the overall product? Well, that would've been a good question to ask three years ago. The pressure coming from the league offices to use penalties as a deterrent to these big hits has been taken to another level. To err on the side of player safety is one thing, and a forgivable mistake in most cases that many would make excuses for. However, this is an epidemic among referees and there's no discernable cure in sight. [follow]
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Eddie Lacy defends Mike McCarthy for weight loss comments

Red Sox nearly had serious catcher emergency in loss to Tigers

Ohio State DL Dylan Thompson ineligible for season

Roger Federer will miss Olympics, U.S. Open with knee injury

Seahawks extend Pete Carroll through 2019

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

LSU kicker Colby Delahoussaye releases first statement following car crash

Report: Brock Osweiler could have made more money staying with Broncos

Andrew Luck: Feels `as good as I've ever felt` for training camp

Amar'e Stoudemire announces retirement after signing one-day contract with Knicks

Report: Gregory failed multiple drug tests since suspension

Olympian Abby Johnston: Worst thing about Olympic village is no Pokemon

Jeremy Lin reportedly looking to trademark phrase ‘Brook-Lin’

Matt Leinart engaged to actress Josie Loren

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

Report: Paul Pierce to return to Clippers

Jimbo Fisher: You come to FSU to win national championships

Andre Johnson worked out for Tennessee Titans

Shattenkirk for Krejci trade rumor still floating around

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman denies link to C.T.E.

Michael Vick: Cam Newton can’t beat me in 40-yard dash

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

Odell Beckham Jr. says Giants will play in Super Bowl LI

Iowa researchers say they can optimize Monday Night Football ratings with scheduling

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker