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Marchand has stunning change of heart in the licking scandal following elimination

What does it mean for the gritty forward's game going forward?

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The dust has settled in Boston, a few days after the Bruins were eliminated in the second round series by the Tampa bay Lightning, and players, coaches and management take the time to look back at what went wrong. National Hockey League fans can easily pinpoint something that did go wrong in that specific series as we can all easily recall Bruins pest Brad Marchand's on-ice antics. 

On Friday night during Game 4 of the second round match up between the Bruins and Lightning, Marchand was up to his hold tricks again as 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. 

The following morning, the league had no choice but to address the issue, especially seeing that it wasn't the first time Marchand attempted such a controversial move. 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.

On Saturday, it was announced that NHL’s Colin Campbell had spoken with Marchand and GM Don Sweeney, and that the League put the player on notice that his actions were unacceptable and that similar behavior in the future will be dealt with by way of supplemental discipline.

On Wednesday morning, it was time for Marchand himself to take a deep look in the mirror and comment his disgusting antics following the Bruins' second round elimination. 

“I’ve got to cut that [expletive] out,” Marchand told The Athletic's Fluto Shinzawa as he cleaned his locker out in the Bruins' dressing room, admitting he needs to take a look in the mirror. 

After the NHL warning, Marchand had called the whole situation stupid. 

"It is what it is. I think it's pretty stupid...the whole situation. If that's what they want to do then that's what they want to do."

Quite the change of heart here...

The top forward also admitted to have played the entire second round against Tampa with a groin injury. At one point during the series, Marchand had sat out from an important team practice and was a game-time decision. While he did not miss any game action, we can assume now it was in linked with this groin injury. 

The summer will give Marchand plenty of time to recuperate from the injury, and also, time to sit back, look in the mirror and grow up as an NHL player.