In the past four or five days we have seen a number of players receive 5 minute majors and match penalties for hits to the head in which there was either none or minimal contact with the head. These players went flying and were clearly hurt by the hits, but in most cases it was either having the wind knocked out of them or being hurt from the hit itself or the landing.
The refs are mostly in the right position, but are they being over cautious with hits to the head after the last few seasons causing major problems for some players or are they just guessing that they got hit in the head because of the way they fall or their equipment going flying?
I remember last season Kris Letang getting a match penalty for a head high hit because the player's helmet went flying, but he never touched his head and it was due to a loose chin strap that his helmet fell off. So this is not new to this season.
But it is troubling that players like Backes can get thrown out of a game at an important time for nothing more than a great body check.