When the intense second-round series between the Boston Bruins and the Tampa Bay Lightning should be talked about for the immense hockey talent involved in the matchup, we are instead talking about kindergarten antics.
On Friday night during Game 4 of the second round match up between the aforementioned 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.
"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.”
Callahan is not the only surprised that the NHL is not doing anything about. During the intermission, the Sportsnet panel of experts could not believe what Marchand had done, and called for immediate heavy punishment.
“What is up with this guy? He disgusts me,” yelled former NHL goalie Kelly Hrudey, who added that the whole situation was an embarrassment for the league.
Enough is enough clearly. Marchand 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. To his credit though Komarov showed no signs that the move had gotten under his skin at all. However, now everyone is pissed.
“I thought he had grown up in the second round!”
While discussing the possibility of a heavy punishment for Marchand, host Ron MacLean made an interesting comment on the situation.
“At lot of people look at it as work-place sexual harassment, they will actually be very upset about this. Would Gary Bettman, would the league look at this?”
Special guest Brian Burke appeared to reassure everyone and told the panel he strongly believes that we have seen the last of this. If not, he is certain Marchand will be suspended for a long period.
You have to admit that people are more inclined now to worry about sexual harassment at work following the past months' previous events and allegations. More than six months after the #MeToo movement became a global force, it continues to make headlines and put a light on prestigious people out there.
“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?”
Hard to argue with that… Let’s get back to hockey, alright, Marchand?