Have you noticed recently that players are not going into the corners to throw a huge check like they used to,due to all the penalties the refs have been calling. The first 5 games they where hitting like normal but almost every time it would result in a penalty for boarding, but now a forward dumps the puck into the corner and the defenceman goes in gently and more or less just whack away with his stick to get possession of the puck.
If this does keep up the forwards will get a huge edge and offence will go up through the league.
They've been calling it like this in all the games. Typical case of league wanting to condition players early then ease up a little as the season wears on to allow good hits, etc. They've mentioned it a few times on NHL Network a well. The crews for teh STL - DET game yesterday were both complaining about taking away so many options for hits that it's not hockey anymore.