For the second time this postseason Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand was caught licking the face of an opposing player. The latest incident happened during the Bruins’ 4-3 overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday night when he was involved in an altercation with Ryan Callahan following a low-bridge hit that resulted in Marchand … well … licking him.
This also happened in the first round when he did it to Toronto Maple Leafs forward Leo Komarov, and that happened after he gave Komarov a kiss on the cheek in an earlier game during the regular season.
The NHL has seen enough.
On Saturday, it announced that Colin Campbell spoke with both Marchand and Bruins general manager Don Sweeney and officially told them that the league has “put the player on notice that his actions last night are unacceptable and similar behavior in the future will be dealt with by way of supplemental discipline.”
Following the Komarov incident in the first round it was reported that the league had reached out to the Bruins to try and get him to stop. Marchand denied that report. Now the league has officially announced that they have, in fact, spoken to him and the team.
Even if they did speak to him and the Bruins after the first incident they probably figured that they didn’t need to make a big public spectacle out of it because it probably wouldn’t happen again. Then when it did happen again they really had no choice but to make it public and officially put everybody involved on notice.
Marchand is a great player, and there is a pretty convincing argument to be made that he is among the top-10 or 15 players in the leagues right now when you combine his production and all-around play. But given incidents like this, and the fact he has been suspended or fined more than any other player in the league during the Department of Player Safety era, it all makes him one of the league’s most frustrating players.