TORONTO -- Phil Kessel laughed off the notion a couple of pre-season slashing incidents mean he needs to control his emotions better.
Last week he took swings at the Flyers Luke Schenn's shins because he didn't like his former teammate jabbing at him. Then there was Sunday night's brawl, when he slashed Sabres tough guy John Scott multiple times, earning a suspension for Toronto's final three pre-season games.
"I just think that the slashing and the hacking and whacking ... I just think it's better served to channel your energy in another way," coach Randy Carlyle said after the game against Philadelphia last week.
Kessel considers those situations more of an anomaly than the start of a troubling trend.
"I think my emotions are pretty good, in general," he said. "I just go and play."
Kessel is now a player with a record at the NHL's department of player safety. He escaped missing any regular-season games and the loss of salary that would entail, but the Leafs star will now be treated as a repeat offender.
That could mean tougher supplemental discipline if he gets in trouble in the future, and any suspension would carry with it a heavier loss of salary.
-- The Canadian Press