TAMPA — Four years ago, it was Alex Burrows on Patrice Bergeron.
This year? Andrew Shaw on Victor Hedman.
Yes, biting is once again a thing at the Stanley Cup Final, after Hedman suggested postgame that Shaw chomped down on him during a first-period scrum during Chicago’s Game 1 victory.
“It felt like it,” Hedman said. “I have a little bruise, so maybe.”
UPDATE: Statement from a league spokesman…
The NHL’s Department of Player Safety was aware of the Shaw biting allegation and reviewed video of it during the game, per NHL spokesman.
— Mike Halford (@HalfordPHT) June 4, 2015
Hedman did complain to officials following the incident, a normal course of action for someone who feels he’s just been bit. And in that regard, it’s not unlike what happened four years ago.
Back in the Vancouver-Boston series of 2011, the Burrows-Bergeron bite — which occurred almost at the exact same time as Hedman-Shaw, right at the end of the first period of Game 1 — became one of the major early talking points. Burrows denied the act and wasn’t suspended, but the normally stoic Bergeron was livid, and took Burrows to task following the game.
“I don’t mind rough play and scrums at the end, as long as it’s just pushing and shoving and all that,” Bergeron explained. “But biting? I mean come on.”
It doesn’t seem as though this situation will go the way of B’s-Canucks. Things between the Bolts and ‘Hawks (and, more specifically, Hedman and Shaw) don’t appear to be as heated, and discipline from the NHL’s department of player safety is unlikely.
The NHL does review all in-game incidents. PHT has reached out to the league for comment.