NHL ref takes flying puck to the throat in playoff game

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On a list of things you don't want to see flying directly for your head, an ice hockey puck is probably fairly high up.

Unfortunately for NHL ref, Steve Kozari, that is exactly what he saw for a split second at least during Monday night's Stanley Cup playoff game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Pittsburgh Penguins.

Kozari was in close proximity as the ball ricocheted around the goal mouth of Penguins tender Marc-Andre Fleury - so close in fact that when the ball flew up off of the skate of Blue Jackets forward Brandon Dubinksi he had next to no time to get out of the way.

And with the trajectory of the puck directed straight for the throat of the hockey ref you can imagine how painful the collision was.

But, like the players they officiate, NHL officials are made of strong stuff.

And Kozari managed to carry on after getting the all-clear, with only a slight flinch at initial contact allowing everyone to know what had just happened.

And this gif of course...

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Pittsburgh Penguins
Stanley Cup
Columbus Blue Jackets

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