In case you missed it yesterday, Sportsnet analyst and NHL insider Elliotte Friedman reported that following the controversial “licking incident” between Boston Bruins pest Brad Marchand and Toronto Maple Leafs forward Leo Komarov in Game 1 of the teams’ first round series, that Marchand and the Bruins received a warning from the NHL.
In Friedman’s own words, from his weekly 31 Thoughts column:
After Game 1 of the Toronto/Boston series, the Bruins got a, “We’d prefer if you could tell Brad Marchand to stop licking people” phone call from the NHL.
Interesting. Why was this not reported at the time? It’s all that fans, media and the players could talk about after it transpired… yet somehow we don’t find out about the NHL’s handling of it until nearly two weeks later?
Well… that’s because it’s entirely untrue according to Marchand. Fresh off defeating the Leafs in Thursday night’s incredibly entertaining Game 7, Marchand took to social media platform Twitter this morning to address Friedman’s report, claiming that its false and that, presumably, Marchand had never been told anything of the sort from league officials.
Check out this sequence of Tweets from earlier today:
So… who do we believe here? Marchand, a player known for playing what he calls “mind games” with opponents, fans and the media, or a well respected journalist like Friedman? Unless either admits that they’re full of it… we’re not likely to get an answer anytime soon.
Regardless of who's right and who's wrong, Marchand's self defense has sparked a controversy online with hockey media and fans dubbing the situation, "Lickgate." It's genius if you really think about it... with the Bruins facing an uphill battle in their second round matchup against the regular season Atlantic Division champion Tampa Bay Lightning, Marchand has deftly moved the media conversation away from his team and onto himself once again. The Brad Marchand Circus is in full swing under the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs big top. The NHL's biggest super pest is the ring leader and we're all just members of the audience waiting to see what happens next.
Love him or hate him, you have to admit that Marchand puts on one HELL of a show.