The year is young, yet it already has been an ugly season for NHL officiating. Across the league fans are complaining about the inconsistent and extremely ticky-tacky calls officials are making. Nudge a player in pursuit of the puck? Prepare to sit. Get mauled by a defender? Play on.
The officials in the St. Louis Blues / Detroit Red Wings game on Friday took things to a whole new level of disappointing. Chris Lee and Ian Walsh not only upset fans of the Blues and Red Wings repeatedly, but they made a mockery of the game of hockey by making critical errors which helped determine the outcome of the game.
David Backes received a match penalty for his hit to Kent Huskins' head. One problem - Backes never made contact with Huskins' head. In fact, he wasn't even close.
So if Backes' hit wasn't to the head, was it a late hit, thus still warranting a penalty of some sort? No, at least not according to some research from Aaron Ward of TSN.