Brad Marchand is at it again. In the second period of Friday’s Game Four between the Lightning and the Bruins, Marchand used his secret weapon to get into opposing players’ heads: his tongue.
This time, the lucky lickee was Bolts forward Ryan Callahan. Callahan, who had been the victim of a borderline hit by Marchand just seconds before, found the Bruins’ agitator to confront him. That’s when Marchand unleashed his mouth organ.
Of course, this is not the first time that Marchand has licked another player or used his mouth in an annoying fashion.
Omg Marchand tried to kiss Eaves…I’m crying pic.twitter.com/nOfjOtWnkX
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) February 21, 2016
This is where it all started. During a 2016 game against the Dallas Stars, Marchand tried to kiss Patrick Eaves. Unfortunately for Marchand, Eaves’ visor was in the way.
It would be nearly a season and a half before he would try it again.
In a Bruins-Leafs matchup this season on November 11, Marchand finally attempted to gain a mental edge using his mouth again. This time, he succeeded.
After a whistle, he pulled Leafs forward Leo Komarov close and gave him a kiss on the cheek.
After the game, Komarov was asked about Marchand’s antics.
Brad Marchand waves and blows kisses to his fans in Tampa. pic.twitter.com/6fU1IIEjJi
— Nick Godin (@FlyingOrr) January 28, 2018
Marchand was suspended for five games after elbowing Marcus Johansson in the head, forcing the former Cap to miss a substantial amount of time. Although the NHL’s All-Star Weekend happened in the midst of Marchand’s ban, he still made an appearance. While the Tampa Bay crowd didn’t welcome him kindly, Marchand blew kisses to the fans during player introductions.
At this point, Marchand kissing and licking players wasn’t “a thing” yet, after the one occurrence. So it’s possible this was foreshadowing.
Hit fast forward just a few months — we’re in the first round of the playoffs. The Bruins are playing none other than the Leafs.
How else would that series start? Marchand. His tongue. And Komarov.
The next day, Marchand’s kiss was a main talking point for both teams.
“I think he’s a little goofy when that happens,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. “But I don’t mind goofy. That’s just part of [Marchand]’s personality. It’s when he starts to go the other way that I gotta [worry].”
According to Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman, the league asked Marchand to stop licking people after Game One. Naturally.
Except maybe they didn’t. Marchand quickly responded to the story on Twitter.
This is false
— Brad Marchand (@Bmarch63) April 27, 2018
Perhaps proving Marchand right, there would be more to come…
Before this Lightning Bruins series started I asked Ryan Callahan what he would do if Brad Marchand licked him. Here is Cally's response: pic.twitter.com/l4LUIPFvSN
— Justin Granit (@JustinGranit) May 5, 2018
We interrupt this story to bring you this important video of Ryan Callahan answering a reporter’s question before the Tampa Bay-Boston series. The prompt, you might ask? What he would do if Marchand were to lick him.
“I don’t know, I guess we’ll see if he licks me,” he said.
That brings us to tonight. After Marchand low-bridged Callahan, he licked the Lightning forward only moments later. Callahan’s reaction was to grab Marchand’s head and, ostensibly, say some not-so-nice words.
what the hell man pic.twitter.com/A5xfvnpyAt
— Filipovic Forsberg (@DimFilipovic) May 5, 2018
Not all of the Bruins were crazy about it.
Chara had a talk with Marchand on the bench after the lick
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) May 5, 2018
And neither were the Leafs.
— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) May 5, 2018
It’s fair to say this is one of the weirdest storylines of the season. How can the NHL stop Marchand from licking opposing players? Penalties? Fines? Suspensions? A stern talking-to? A dose of his own medicine?
Here's how to stop Marchand: pic.twitter.com/PP5XNxsrgk
— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) May 5, 2018
We’ll just have to wait and see.
Headline photo: @dimfilipovic
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