Brad Marchand is not only one of the best players in the league but he is also one of the best at getting under his opponent’s skin.
Tonight was no different. Brad Marchand had two assists and a lick to the face of former New York Rangers captain, Ryan Callahan. Yes, you read that correctly.
Prior to the confrontation, Marchand hit Callahan low and that is what caused an evidently angry Callahan to find Marchand after the play. Callahan began to shove Marchand but all Marchand did was get closer and go in for the lick.
This is the third time Marchand has attempted to do something like this in these playoffs, starting with Leo Komarov of the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarter Finals. The two were battling near the benches when Marchand stopped what he was doing to kiss Komarov on his neck.
Marchand was apparently warned by the league but this rumor was denied by Marchand himself and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly who told Jaclyn Reiss of the Boston Globe, “No, we did not contact the Bruins or Brad Marchand regarding this incident. It’s just not true.”
This appeared evident in Game One of this ongoing series between the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning. Marchand, who was battling with Tyler Johnson, attempted to either lick or kiss Johnson, but Johnson pushed him away and a referee got between the two.
It’s a strange tactic for sure, but it has worked well for Marchand thus far. The 29-year-old has 15 points (four goals and 11 assists) through 10 games in these playoffs and has gotten into plenty of his opponent’s heads along the way.
Unfortunately for him, he might’ve targeted the wrong former Ranger as Dan Girardi scored the overtime winner to give the Lighting a 3-1 series lead headed back to Tampa Bay for Game Five on Sunday afternoon.
Update (2:45 pm EST):
NHL’s Colin Campbell spoke with Boston’s Brad Marchand and GM Don Sweeney today. The League 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.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) May 5, 2018