The games I have watched so far have been the opposite. Usally they will call the first 20 games tight and then let alot go after the season gets going.
The last two games I have watched , one game the ref's called it so tight I thought I was watching a squirt game. Then the next weekend it was a different refing crew that let everything go.
If I had one wish for the ref's it would be to stop going over to the coaches that want to whine all the time. It really slows the game down for the players and fans. When I use to ref , I would only go over to the coaches if I put two players in the box or the coach needed to talk about what I called. The last game I was at the head coach was whinning to the ref's about iceing and off sides.
Kudos, to the ref's for calling the scrums and hits after the whistle in front of the nets. Some ref's were calling hits after the whistle as a delay of game penalty. Is this a new rule for the NAHL ? I hope it is because it sure speeds up the game and it don't turn into a wrestling match.