NHL player caught licking face of opponent... again


We’ll guess this one didn’t taste too good.

The Boston Bruins are facing elimination after they lost Game 4 of their second-round playoff series to Tampa Bay on Friday night, giving the Lightning a 3-1 series lead.

It was a bitter-tasting defeat for Boston, who had come back from a 2-0 first-period deficit.

For Boston’s Brad Marchand, this one had a particularly sour flavor, as the All-Star forward was caught licking an opponent — again.

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The spit-swap happened in the second period, when Marchand clearly licked the upper lip of Tampa Bay’s Ryan Callahan.

It was a weird occurrence in the midst of a shoving match that resulted after Callahan took a low hit from Marchand.

Marchand’s loose tongue has been the talk of hockey the past couple of weeks, though he has denied a report that the NHL told him to stop licking people.

Prior to the Lightning-Bruins matchup, Callahan was asked if he feared the lick.

“I guess we’ll see if he licks me,” Callahan said, while laughing nervously.

Do you think Marchand should be penalized for the lick?

Well, lick he did.

After Friday night’s saliva deposit, the Lightning forward wasn’t in a joking mood.

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“I don’t know what the difference between what the difference is between that and spitting in somebody’s face. And if I’m not mistaken, spitting is a game misconduct, if not a gross (misconduct). I don’t know what the difference is there if not worse,” he said.

“So it’s unfortunate he goes that low to do that, but it doesn’t take us off our game.”

Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper put it in simple terms.

“There’s absolutely no place in our game for that,” Cooper said. “I don’t understand it. I don’t. How would you like it if I walked over to you right now and gave you a big lick from the chin all the way up? There’s just no place for it.”

On Saturday, ESPN reported that the league will be telling the Bruins that Marchand needs to sop licking his opponents.

“Yes, we will be communicating with the Club. We don’t expect it to happen again,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly.

And with Boston facing elimination, this is really not the time for stupid play.

If the Lightning wrap up the series Sunday, would it be fair to say they “take a licking and keep on ticking”?

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Mike is an 11-time Michigan Emmy Award winner who has spent nearly 30 years working in sports media.
Mike has spent nearly 30 years in all aspects of sports media, including on-air, 10 at ESPN and another 10 at Fox Sports Detroit. He now works as a TV agent, and lives with his family in West Bloomfield, MI.
Sudbury, Massachusetts
11-time Michigan Emmy winner
Emerson College
Books Written
The Longest Year: One Family's Journey Of Life, Death, And Love/If These Walls Could Talk: Detroit Tigers/If These Walls Could Talk: Detroit Lions
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