By Benjamin Burke
In a league where contact to the head continues, who would have thought a tongue to the face would require attention. The NHL obviously believed that Boston Bruins’ forward, Brad Marchand, would not repeat himself.
HA! Wrong again!
Friday night during Game 4 of Round 2, the Bean Town pest licked Tampa Bay Lightning forward Ryan Callahan‘s,face. The sad part is that this was not a first. Marchand performed the same atrocity against Toronto forward, Leo Komarov.
As usual, Marchand was drawing the opposition to commit and infraction as pests do. He may run his mouth, poke players, and contact the head but licking is a different low. Callahan stated post-game that it is not different from being spit on. And he is not wrong.
Brad Marchand gives Ryan Callahan a lick pic.twitter.com/b2th9vdOwO
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) May 5, 2018
The increasingly sad part is that the NHL took little to no action for the first licking incident. This disgusting act may have no precedent but that does not mean it should be ignored. Should it be a surprise that the lick was taken so lightly? This is the National Hockey League we are talking about. If there is a logical response, Gary Bettman and Co. typically do the opposite. The fact they do not handle Brad Marchand’s repeat offenses properly is evidence of that.
Regardless of the lack of specific rule on licking, it is disturbing that the league must now speak on it. The NHL has important issues to address that are only distracted by an adult who must act like a kindergartner. If I were to walk into work and lick a coworker, I would be cleaning out my desk in a heartbeat. There would be no time to explain. I would be looking for employment and facing the embarrassment of explaining the situation to my wife.
Ultimately, attention must be on a common sense situation that a third grader would handle better than Brad Marchand. Now will likely be a specific rule on this type of behavior as it is evident that an adult cannot act respectfully to his peers. And the NHL must get this one right or they will be where they are with dangerous contact. And it is a damn shame. The head injuries are far more important. Why has it come to this? It is due to a 29 year old that acts like a juvenile.
Originally published on The 4th Line Podcast.