After two preseason games, the message from the NHL to its players is clear — clean up your act.
Whether it’s slashing or cheating in the faceoff circle, the league’s directive to call just about anything close to a slash is seeing a parade of players to the penalty box.
There were 791 slashing penalties assessed last season, according to TSN.ca. On Monday, there were 41 slashing penalties called in eight preseason games.
The Golden Knights were whistled for four slashing penalties in Tuesday’s 4-1 win at the Colorado Avalanche. They also were assessed a delay of game penalty for a faceoff circle violation. It was the first of those calls to go against the Knights.
On Monday, there were 10 faceoff violation penalties called.
“Everybody will adjust,” said Knights defenseman Colin Miller, who wasn’t whistled for a penalty. “The refs got their job to do. We know that.”
Coach Gerard Gallant said the same thing.
“The refs are instructed to call the slashing, and that’s what they’re doing,” he said. “They don’t want any slashing, and they’re going to call it very tight.”
The Knights have had five slashing penalties called in their two games. Expect more of the same Thursday in San Jose against the Sharks.
No cuts Wednesday
Nobody was released Wednesday, one day after 10 players were cut. Forty-six players remain in training camp.
The team did not provide any update on center Reid Duke, who has yet to practice or play. Duke was last on the ice Sept. 13 in the second of two rookie games against the Los Angeles Kings. Center James Neal has not been cleared to practice, as he recovers from surgery on his right hand this summer.
Smith day off
Forward Reilly Smith took a maintenance day Wednesday after blocking a shot Tuesday. Gallant said it was nothing serious. Smith won’t play Thursday.
The team won’t practice Friday.
The Knights signed free-agent defenseman Dylan Coghlan to a three-year, entry-level contract.
The 6-foot-2-inch player from Duncan, British Columbia, played the past three seasons with the Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey League, totaling 21 goals and 61 assists.
Coghlan, 19, participated in the Knights’ development camp in June and played in the recent rookie camp before being invited back to the team’s veteran training camp last week. He has not played in either of the two preseason games.
San Jose travel roster
Knights goaltender Calvin Pickard is expected to start Thursday at San Jose. Maxime Lagace, who started Tuesday at Colorado, will be the backup.
Also on the trip are defensemen Brayden McNabb, Griffin Reinhart, Luca Sbisa, Nate Schmidt, Clayton Stoner and Shea Theodore. The forwards are William Carrier, Cody Eakin, Cody Glass, William Karlsson, Keegan Kolesar, Brendan Leipsic, Stefan Matteau, Tomas Nosek, David Perron, Teemu Pulkkinen, TJ Tynan and Tyler Wong.
Contact Steve Carp at email@example.com or 702-387-2913. Follow @stevecarprj on Twitter.