The NHL announced they would be cracking down on a couple of things this season, mainly faceoff violations and slashing.
During the preseason, the refs came out hard, dishing out two minute faceoff violation penalties like they were going out of style. While they might slowed down a bit in regards to handing out penalties, they haven't hesitated at all to kick players out of the faceoff circle.
After the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 OT loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday, Hawks coach Joel Quenneville made his sentiments on the subject pretty clear.
"Tonight was an epidemic for sure," Quenneville said "Right off the bat, I don't know what was the number but I think (captain Jonathan Toews) got tossed about nine times."
It got so bad during Monday's game, that defenseman Brent Seabrook and Gustav Forling had to take faceoffs after the centermen were kicked out of the circle.
It wasn't just the Hawks, Leafs center Nazem Kadri was kicked from the opening faceoff and kicked out from a faceoff just seconds later, all during the same shift. What makes it worse according to Coach Q is that the refs aren't giving explanations.
"Right now (the officials) don't tell you why, so that's the part... It's tough on centreman, certainly frustration for Johnny, and Kadri was doing the same thing you know.
"I don't think they quite understood the reason why and that's a work in progress, finding out why you're getting tossed without an answer."