It is sad to say that by now this is what most National Hockey League fans are talking about this morning. On Friday night during Game 4 of the second round match up between the Boston Bruins and Lightning, Brad Marchand was up to his hold tricks again. It all started when Marchand tried to hip check Lightning veteran Ryan Callahan. The hit ended up catching the Bolts forward quite close to the knee, and he was not happy about it. However, he was even more infuriated when Marchand licked his face from the chin up during another altercation between the two men.
With all the attention on the licking saga and Marchand's antics, the league had no choice this morning but to do something about the Bruins pest's actions. According to NHL and TSN insider Darren Dreger, "the NHL is involved and Marchand will be told to stop the licking nonsense immediately."
And Dreger is right: the fact that Gary Bettman and the league management has to do this - especially during an exciting postseason - is absolutely ridiculous.
"I don’t know what the difference between that is and spitting in somebody’s face,” said Callahan after the Bolts' OT win. “If I’m not mistaken, spitting is a game misconduct, if not a gross. I don’t know what the difference is there, if it’s not worse. …
“I’m just surprised that something isn’t done. I don’t know what the difference is between spitting in someone’s face and licking it.”
It is sad to say that it is indeed embarrassing for the league, especially since it is not the first time Marchand does this. The gritty forward made headlines during the first round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs when he got a little too intimate with Toronto Maple Leafs forward Leo Komarov. During the incident in question Marchand was seen licking the man's face, after he had planted a kiss on his cheek earlier in the regular season.
“All I’m going to say is there’s absolutely no place in our game for that,” said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. “I don’t get it. I don’t understand it. I don’t. How would you feel if I walked over to you right now and just gave you one big lick right from the chin all the way up?”
We finally know that the League now has more to say and it will be told directly to Marchand's face!